When I was growing up, hockey was everything to me. It was my favorite sport, and I watched almost any NHL game on TV. Hockey brought a sense of purpose to me. I felt like I could do anything when I got on the ice. Whether it was backward skating, checking someone into the boards, or making an awesome play, I felt invincible.
I even played hockey in high school and college. But when I got out of college, my skills began to decline. I stopped playing for a while because I didn’t have the money. I needed to pay off my student loan debt. Fortunately for me, I was able to do so by the time I was 25.
In 2020, I did want to join a beer league once again. But of course, the coronavirus made it nearly impossible to do. When 2021 came around, I did get on the ice one time that year. But after that, I thought I wasn’t going to play again. Recently, I joined a team where we play scrimmages every Friday. I’ve only played in two scrimmages so far. However, I’m getting back into the groove of things.
The other Friday night, a guy skating backward hit me when I was trying to get off the ice. It was an accident. But I had to ice my shoulder, and I thought to myself that night, ‘what am I doing’? ‘Is it worth it’? I then said to myself, ‘yes, it is’. It’s good to exercise, and it’s good to play the game you love. You may be out of practice, but it’s worth it every day to keep going and improve your skills.
Like in life, you can fall, and you have to build yourself back up again. We all fall at certain times. On Friday night, I fell at least three times. I even missed the puck on some easy plays, and it certainly cost us. My +/- ratio was entirely trash that night.
Even though we were playing three on three with one goalie and a cutout board, I had fun. I made some good passes, took a few good shots, and even had some good footwork. In the process of kicking the puck to my skate, I was able to make a few good plays. As I go forward with hockey, I will write a book about hockey and make it into an audiobook.
I want to take my two favorite passions and combine them, and we can do that today with the internet.
Now, when it comes to hockey, there are a lot of people who think it’s too much work to get started. You have to wake up early in the morning just to secure some ice time. In most leagues, the games could be late at night. If you’re playing in a beer league, such as I am, you can also have a difficult time, with your budget if you have to pay for ice time, skate sharpenings, and new equipment. Ice hockey may be expensive, but if you want to start cheap, play in a ball hockey league or a roller hockey league.
As hockey is one of the most expensive sports, watching hockey is the cheapest way to have fun with it. Whether it’s high school, college, Peewee, AHL, or the NHL. It’s always fun to go to a hockey game and watch it. They call it a spectator sport for a reason. Given this, I do want to grow the sport of hockey. If we could find a way to get some of the cost down with the ice or even equipment, it will become financially more accessible for people of all backgrounds.