I went on a hiatus from playing sports early in my youth. Not really what you wanted to read, right?
Back then, Black Flag’s ‘Fix Me’ and Slayer’s ‘South of Heaven’ took the place of running hockey plays in my head (thanks to my trusty Walkman), and that’s all the room I decided I had. So, music became my passion and it was in that moment I realized being any kind of super-star athlete started and finished with youth hockey.
At that time, playing music was my forte and so that’s just what I did; I played music. And come to find out I was actually pretty good at it, too. From my first tour a week after graduating high school, to playing in bands throughout college, music is what I wanted to do. Many years and countless gigs later, however, I sit here happy to report that although my passion still remains with writing fast riffs, I’ve found my way back on to the ice.
And I’m happier than ever.
It’s halfway into the second period as my team, ‘The Allston Wheels’, are down a goal. As the puck is dumped, I finish my shift and head to the bench. Exhausted, I reach for my water, take a sip and soak in what rest and oxygen I can find. As I sit and watch the game, I think to myself; “Why did I stop playing?” I believe now that I could have been performing a such a higher level had I stuck with it. As the minute passes I get the nod to jump back on the ice and the thought of regret leaves my head. I tell myself, “It’s time to take in what I have here; good, clean and fun competition with friends.” Nothing makes my Monday better than knowing my next game is just a few hours away.
In reality, there are no regrets for the decisions I’ve made in the past to get me to where I am now. Music was and continues to be a passion of mine. But, as I am reminded every Monday night, hockey, competition and having fun can be equally as exciting. And yes you can have both. As much as I look forward to the next gig, I now look forward to my Monday night games just as much if not more.
Thankfully, three years ago I decided to get back on the ice and never looked back.
As the last minute of the third period winds down, I somehow managed to find the back of the net (this is something that doesn’t happen too often). Coming off the ice, The Wheels are all smiles knowing that we played as a team, taking 4-2 win. And yes, Monday Night hockey wins makes all of our weeks that much better.
If you’ve made it this far through my blog, I applaud you. I am sure you were expecting legitimate advice from experienced, proven athletes like that of my co-workers, as they have done in their blogs up until this point. No, I don’t have any Olympic medals (looking at you Dan Walsh) and I’ve never held a NCAA National Championship trophy (OK, Matt and Pat,*two*), but that’s ok. Not everyone is that fortunate, and not everyone puts 100% of their passion into athletics like they so-impressively have. I love learning from them, I love hearing their stories, and I love seeing them as passionate in their respective sports as I am with my music and my Monday Night hockey league. It’s been great taking in their experiences as athletes, getting on and off ice workouts with them, and receiving pointers and the like. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by such great people, especially when they ask “How’d the Wheels do last night?”
If there’s one thing to take away from this post, it’s that passion drives everything you do.
Whether you’re a former or current athlete or a weekend warrior on the stage or on the ice, there’s passion behind it all. Hopefully those of you that want to try something new can relate. Maybe you’ve been scared to get back in the gym after a long hiatus, or maybe you think you’re too young or too old to join a Crossfit program, or maybe you finally joined a pick up league after some hesitation like I did. Whatever the case may be; I urge you to go for it. I am so incredibly happy that I did.
If there’s anyone out there looking to get (back) into some competitive co-ed hockey, you can skate with us anytime through MA Hockey League. And if you’re curious about the music thing, you can check out a current project here.