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Rink Rage: letting go and seeing the game through the eyes of child

Shoot, Shot, SHOOOOOOOTTTTTTT! Good God what’s wrong with that kid! Ah the refrains of an educated and understanding hockey parent! Or, maybe not. 
I have been away for a bit. Couldn’t play hockey because I have been The time off got the grey cells working regarding the state of parenting in youth sports, mostly hockey, but really you can plug in any support specific nuance into this narrative.
I love this game at every level and the experience that this great game provides for kids, adults and fans. As a kid it teaches humility, teamwork, discipline and too many other great qualities to list here. As an adult returning to the game it taught me all of those as well as enabling me to view life through the lens of a kid. Trust me, my goals now are to be semi-proficient for the 50+ league, not to be the next Bossy. Working with beginners and having a daughter playing has been an interesting experience, that has opened my eyes to the seedy underbelly of rivalry, unrealistic parental exp…
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Hockey and music and finding the game where you least expect it.

I spent the past 2 weeks or so on holiday in Costa Rica. It was without hyperbole a truly life changing trip and one that I would recommend to anyone. The place that we stayed was intermixed with locals and expats, living at very different areas of the financial spectrum and it left me a changed and more enlightened person. But that is a different story for a different day.

This is a story of finding hockey in the most unusual of places and my personal link between hockey and music and how it all came full circle. For those of you that have been along for the ride from the beginning you know that I came to hockey at first in a desert environment, well before the NHL expansion to the sunbelt and after the WHA team nearest me, The Golden Seals, died an untimely death. I was brought into the fold of this great game of ours by a friend, Jason. He taught me the ropes and was there for my first bendy attempts at skating and we played a hell of a lot of street and living room hockey. Luckily…

Chop wood, carry water - Inside edge, outside edge - the work of learning the game

To those that have been considering learning the sport, those that are learning or relearning the sport, and those that want to understand the process, I must tell you that it is not easy. By now you know a bit about me and know that I am picking up again after a long layoff. To say it has been humbling, would be an understatement. Also it has been a fantastically enjoyable process.

In an earlier post I mentioned that I had played a bit of hockey, most of that time spent was as a child. I had great time, enjoyed play and never developed into the best skater. I was and still am in love with the sport. It truly is a magnificent spectacle, when played at the highest levels. Speed, grace, brutality, are all on display in the USA and Canada Women's World Championships, The Stanley Cup playoffs and countless other games at the college, professional, junior and international level showcase amazing talent.

I belong in none of the above. I am what is referred to in the hockey world as a be…

The girl with the flames on her skates and ladies that tap dance

How many of us dreamt of becoming sports heroes? I was going to be the next Wayne Gretzky, no really. For those of us that are of the male persuasion, our icons were and are everywhere. This was true even in the 1970's and 80's, a time when hockey had a much smaller market share in the US. It is only recently that female athletes have  professionals to emulate and idolize. Though the coverage can use a lot of work, it's growing and that is a story and discussion that I will delve into at a later date.

  As adults, most of us have given up on our dreams of becoming sports stars and find inspiration in other places or people. As I begin my journey returning to a sport that I love I have found inspiration in so many places that I could not have dreamt of as kid.

Two of those that inspired my return to hockey, are these. One is completely unrelated to hockey and one is a rank hockey beginner. I have found inspiration from them and they all exhibit "shoshin" in
their…

It all began in a driveway, in Fresno at 100 degrees

A bit of background.

It was hot, the kind of heat that people refer to as a "dry heat" a euphemism that means as unbearable and heavy as the fires of hell. Yet there we stood, my first hockey mentor and best friend Jason. An unusual place to begin a life long love affair with a sport played on frozen water, yet there we were shooting rubber discs off of a sheet of Teflon into his splintered wood garage door, much to the chagrin of his parents.

 Hooked from that moment, I bought the same Koho stick that only rink in town sold and a set of tube skates. I set up a fruit box in the entry of our small apartment dining area and made pucks out of crumpled up newspaper wrapped in stick tape, in the manner that Jason taught me. My poor single mother and her succession of friends and boyfriends suffered many an errant puck sailing over their wine glasses as I practiced my wrist shot.

We were dirt poor, so my dreams of becoming the next Gretzky were place on hold indefinitely. A mino…