When I moved to Georgia, one of the toughest things to give up was hockey.
Living in Wisconsin, I had two groups that I played with on a weekly basis and it was always great to be out on the ice with my friends. Both were, basically, weekly pickup games between friends and when you were done, you would head to the bar and have a bit of dinner and just enjoy the night.
About a year after moving here, I was able to meet up with a team that needed a goalie for their league. I never really wanted to play league hockey since there is usually a lot more ego that goes along with it. Another problem that comes along with playing with competitive people, is that I tend to get a lot more competitive as well. When things don’t go right for me, I tend to get annoyed with myself and the game stops being fun to play.
That was the beauty of the groups I played with in Wisconsin. It was a game and it was almost always fun.
Along with the competitive nature of the games came concussions. For whatever reason, I just kept getting them in the league games here. Now, I will say that I had a few concussions in Wisconsin as well, but for whatever reason I had quite a few more here. As a result of that, I decided to stop playing in goal for a while. I figured that if I wasn’t in net, then the odds of me getting my head knocked around would greatly decrease. As it turns out, that wasn’t the case.
Late in the season (about 4 months ago,) I got kicked in the face with a skate blade and fell to the ground. After a few minutes, I was able to skate to the bench and sit for a while and tried to collect myself. A few minutes later, I skated off the bench and tried my legs. Everything seemed fine, so I went back to the bench and waited for my next shift. I took 4 hard strides and felt like I was going to throw up. That was the end of my amateur hockey career.
There was an ER visit the next day, a CT scan, and numerous visits with a concussion specialist, and the conclusion was that my hockey days were done. Sadly, I still get headaches a few months later but my hope is that they’ll eventually fade away as well and life will go back to normal, just minus the time on the ice.
I was in my 20’s when I started playing hockey for the first time and I always felt that I would be able to play it until I was in my 50’s, 60’s, or even later, so when something like that is taken from you, it is a shock to the system.
For the last few months, I’ve been in a bit of a funk and have put on some weight as I just can’t seem to motivate myself the way that I used to, as far as sports are concerned. I feel like I’m starting to get through a bit of it, but it’s still hard to think of the fact that I can’t play anymore.
So, that’s one of the reasons that I haven’t been around much of late. I just haven’t felt like myself and needed some time to try and get back around to feeling, as close to, right again. Still not there, but perhaps getting back to this will help.