Wednesday, September 20, 2006

InSUCKure

I joined a new hockey team.

I wasn’t looking for a new hockey team. I was considering taking this year off, actually. But I was approached by a travel (read: high level) team that was looking for a goalie; I couldn’t say no.

I’ve played for too many soccer teams that were in desperate need of a goalie.

It’s almost like an act of charity.

And I thought that it would be good for me. The kinship between teammates, mostly. Not the late nights and the hectic schedule (we play every Tuesday night at 10 pm at a rink 40 minutes from my apartment, as well as another day or two per week).

Goalies skate free. I really don’t have anything to lose.

My second practice was last night. I was just as nervous as I was at the first practice. Unfortunately, I didn’t play as well.

Goalie is a fickle position. Little errors are called out in a big way. Mental toughness is key.

And I was worrying about what the other women were thinking about me.

I was told that their goalie from last season sucked. In the locker room, they promised me that I couldn’t possibly be as bad as she was. Which only made me more nervous. I would have preferred a nonchalant attitude about last year’s goalie situation. A shrug and a "she was okay, but she’s not playing this year." Less pressure, right?

I couldn't be so lucky. My team is a bunch of girls who clearly prefer a skilled goalie over a sieve.

Have I mentioned that I've been playing goalie for less than a year? That I gave it a try mostly as a joke and just happened to be good at it and have had zero formal training?

There was a point during practice where two girls were in the corner battling for the puck. The coach (yes, we have a coach. He’s a crotchety old man) blows the whistle to end the drill. The two girls burst into a fit of laughter.

I convince myself that they’re laughing at me. At how I play goalie. At how much I suck.

It was like my first day of fifth grade all over again.

I am so ridiculous.

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