Walking Off the Ice
I had to put my hockey “career” on hold. I had started playing hockey in my 30’s, just after my 3-year-old started to play. I played for a couple of years and then, well, life happened. I was thoroughly happy to be doing everything in my life that was taking away the time that I could get on the ice, but, I missed playing hockey, nonetheless. I missed working on my skating and hockey game skills in the adult Breakfast Club 6am skates with coaches. And, I missed Sunday night game nights and the thrill of competition and pushing myself on the ice, mentally and physically. In fact, I missed the ice every day.
I didn’t let an opportunity to be involved with hockey pass me by. Fortunately, I only had to miss working on my skills and actually getting to play, as my son was playing, so I was still in a rink several times a week. Walking into the rink, the smell* of the ice alone induced an immediate surge in endorphins, calming me and stopping any stress of the day dead in its tracks at the threshold of the arena doors.
*A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people’s moods and even affect their work performance. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain’s limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it’s sometimes called the “emotional brain,” smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously. -‘How Smell Works’ by Sarah Dowdey
My son was still young and his coaches welcomed any extra adult hands onto the ice during practices and of course, I jumped at the chance. I rallied the team families with a duffle bag full of pom-poms and bells and each time the team scored, I passed a collection jar to use to celebrate the boys at the end of the season with. I ran the scoreboard and helped organize team get-togethers. And every chance I had, I took my boys to Sticks & Pucks or played hockey in the driveway and mini sticks in the basement. I said yes to as many hockey chances as I could.
Time to Get Back on the Ice
One year off of the ice turned into two and finally, my heart was telling me it was time for me to get back in the game. And surprisingly, fear was holding me back. Getting back on the ice the second time actually proved to be more of a mental challenge than the first time! I worried about being able to be available every Wednesday morning and every Sunday night. I worried more about the skills class and getting back in on a game than I had the first time I played. I told myself the scheduling will work out. I reminded myself that I had done it once and I could do it again. My mind kept telling me the same thing: It’s time. Just do it. And yet, fear was holding me back.
A Little Inspiration Goes a Long Way
And then, inspiration came my way, in the form of a video: ’65-Year-Old Hockey Player Diane Pieknik’. I finished watching the video and called the rink. Time wasn’t going to stand still for me and there was no better time than now. Within a week, I was back on the ice. And the story gets better…because who did I skate out on the ice with that day? 65-Year-Old Hockey Player Diane Pieknik. I was thrilled to share with her that she was the inspiration that got me on the ice that day! Check out Diane’s video. Whether you’re new to the game or have been playing for years, or don’t play hockey at all, I guarantee, you’ll enjoy Diane’s story. And maybe find a little inspiration for your day too.