Now that the hard core dust has settled from moving (though still no art on the walls and a mile-long list of to-dos remain), I don't have enough stress at home to distract me from the fact that
EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED.
Shit. I had my first, "Maybe this move was an awful idea and what if I never make any friends and am miserable in Dallas like I was in Kingwood" moment last night. Though I have to think the "we're going away, too!" feeling of watching the second to last The Office amplified the feelings of loss.
I've just been too busy to acknowledge it, but hockey and writing about it have pretty much consumed me for the last few years and it feels weird to have exactly none of that happening now. That said, when I think about having to be an "expert" on a team or goalies or anything again, I feel weary at the thought. Clearly the break is needed.
Yet, I keep thinking, "Who am I now?" I think I kinda get an inkling of how retiring athletes feel... that existential crisis of, "This thing has defined me and brought me immeasurable satisfaction and now it's gone."
Luckily, I've learned a thing or two about myself in my thirty*cough* years on the planet and realize that this is was inevitable and eventually it will get okay.
I guess what I need to figure out is how to keep a little bit of that edge. Reporting is out of my comfort zone. I could do it for the rest of my life, I think, and I would still get really anxious before every interview. Which meant I was constantly having to do things that scare me a little, and I think that's good. It's also kind of exhausting, which is why it's hard to say, "Yes, let's find new ways to scare myself!"
Much easier to piddle around with fixing up the house and stay in my comfort zone, but I also already feel that dulling me. I'm capable of more than sitting around in my yoga pants looking for the perfect rug for the entry way (but seriously, I'm stumped... it's an odd shape). I mean, I have my day job but it never ever scares me. I've been doing it for 13 years and it's completely in my wheelhouse.
So, I dunno. As I've said elsewhere, I've always had pretty good success with just listening to the wind for my next "thing." But I definitely need to create something, and for more than just myself.
For now, you're looking at it. I suppose a remodel is due here, too, but but given my current state of identity crisisness, I'm not even sure where to start with that. I'm not a sentimental person and it feels like a waste of time to spend much energy on what was, even as cherished as these experiences were.
If I'm not moving forward, I'm moving backward, is probably how some self-help book would put it.
So, here's to the future, the unknown. To fond memories of the past but not looking behind me so much that I don't see the opportunities in front of me.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Now that the hard core dust has settled from moving (though still no art on the walls and a mile-long list of to-dos remain), I don't have enough stress at home to distract me from the fact that
Thursday, September 27, 2012
I've tried twice now to write in this space and have deleted it both times. I don't really know why, other than maybe I'm over the phase of my life where I need a "diary," or maybe things have gotten so routine that there just isn't anything to hash out.
Playing goal is pretty regular (I still suck about 75% of the time, and get lucky the other 25%).
I'm still losing weight like a bandit and have loads to say about that, but dear God, the world does not need another fitness or weight loss blog, amirite? And really, while I do torture my Facebook friends with the trials and tribulations of my every-other-day running adventures, I know that's super annoying unless you're also a runner.
I've never written about my home life like some might, but thankfully it's tame enough that it really doesn't need writing about. Mr.C's job continues to be an all-consuming, raging clusterfuck for him, Major has a cancerous growth on his leg that we're figuring out how to treat, and the new kid is Louie, and he sleeps curled up next to me and has the softest ears you've ever felt on an animal. I lurves him.
|That's my socked foot, not some strange protrusion from Louie's hip.|
And I may be more in the finger painter realm of beat writer artists for now, but I'm going to do my dead level best at it because it's really important to me to honor the opportunity. Not many real sports writers get such a chance, much less a hack like me.
So, right now I'm trying to find the balance between taking it seriously but also not being a total bore in the process. And part of that is figuring out whether to keep this blog going or just put it on hiatus. I write so much (and even more now) during the seasons that writing for personal enjoyment now happens in 140 characters on Twitter.
I think, for right now, the blog is going to take a planned siesta (as opposed to the last year or so where it was on an unplanned siesta and made me feel guilty).
But I'll still be around. Follow me on Twitter, read over at Third Intermission, read the Chronicle. I won't be doing Backhand Shelf anymore, as that is just too time consuming and stressful to do in addition to the Aeros beat. I'll pop in occasionally on Hockey Wilderness. And I'd like to do a piece on Jack Campbell for InGoal this season if I can arrange it.
Anyway, here's to the lockout ending in December (color me selfish but I want to see the stud prospects for myself) and lots of juicy stuff to write about for the Aeros all season long. Cheers! :)
P.S. Also, just because I'm feeling the love today: #TeamBrusty. Go get 'em, big guy.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The front of my mask is still getting painted but I called an audible Friday afternoon and asked Jason at Head Strong Grafx to add a tribute to Jessica on the back of my mask. Now, what I asked for was her initials in the spot where San Antonio is on the map of Texas that was already going on the back.
What I got (after he asked if I wanted something cooler than that), was this:
WHAT? I was just blown away. It's just beautifully done and since it's kind of zany mask theme and Jess was kind of a zany girl, it just seems so fitting. Plus, I got green to go with my red hair... hey! Go red-heads!
Anyway, so excited to wear this mask finally. Just honored to have such amazing artwork on there. It's really a treasure. Will unveil more as Jason sends me progress shots.
But one of my last messages to Jessica was that I would let her know how I liked the Zombies, Run! app I was trying out. She hated running and was intrigued by the idea of something to make it less boring, just like I was.
Except I don't find running boring... yet. But I wanted to try Zombies, Run! to see if it maybe distracted me from the agony of running and made it more fun or, fingers crossed, EASIER somehow.
Well. No. It did none of those things for me, but I think it's just me. Lemme 'splain.
I have two things working against me:
First, I shut down like Fort Knox when you boss me around, especially for no good reason. So when the comm guy who is talking to me, Runner 5, as I'm running around collecting supplies for the town and avoiding zombie hoards, says, "OMG RUN RUN RUN!" I'm like, "Fuck you. No such thing as zombies."
Second, running is hard. Like, the first mile, I kind of enjoy. My breathing is good, my legs are peppy, I'm not coated in a waterfall of sweat. But as the run goes on, the more I have to focus on continuing to run. There is self-talk going on like you wouldn't believe in order to even get 2 miles out of me. 3 miles? Yeah, total and complete focus. By the third mile, I don't even really hear my music anymore.
"Just keep going. You can only stop if you're physically ill. But you're fine. It's just hard, but it's not killing you. The hard is what makes it worthwhile. Keep going. I'm sure the lady will say it's been a kilometer in her super awkward way before you know it and then you can walk for a minute. But don't think about that. Just keep going. Zone out. Look at houses, yards, just keep going or you'll feel like a jerk when you're done."
So, if I have to listen to these zombie town people talking to me over my headset between my songs, not only does it keep me from diligently keeping myself going, but it also doesn't time up with my walk breaks (which I really find are helpful to keep me fresher later in the run and also gives me a mental "treat" every now and then).
In my one run with the Zombies, Run! app so far, I ended up walking more than I have for any run. It was literally my worst run ever in terms of accomplishing my goals, feeling strong, etc. Part of that is that I was running along the bayou by my house which isn't flat as a board like my usual route, and also, I really hadn't eaten much in the way of carbs that day and my legs just would. not. go. Though I honestly think that was 90% mental.
At some point, I'll try it again. Maybe when the weather cools off and it doesn't feel like I'm boiling from the inside out and maybe it will take less focus and maybe running 30 minutes won't seem as horrible for the final 15 minutes. And I'll do it on my usual flat sidewalk routes around my neighborhood.
All that said, the story is good and well acted and engaging. I just don't have the focus right now to do anything but will myself to put one foot in front of the other. I kept wanting to stop and walk and listen to the story because I didn't have the focus to both run and enjoy the story.
Bottom line, if you're a headcase like me, it might not work out for you, but if you're an experienced runner, I think this might be a fun way to shake up the ol' routine a bit. At $8 or so, it's not a huge risk either way.
Friday, July 20, 2012
"So sorry for your loss."
My dear friends, hockey and otherwise, have expressed this sentiment many times today as I've let loose my sorrow at the horrific death of my friend and fellow red-headed Texan hockey writer, Jessica Redfield, in the movie theater shootings in Colorado last night.
I very much appreciate the sentiment and support and hugs, but all I can think is, "It's all our losses. We ALL lose here." We are all minus one spunky, funny, down-to-earth, smart, hockey-loving gal.
She was someone I considered a friend, even though we hadn't met yet (I always assumed we would eventually... hockey is a small world), but I've come to realize how many people fall into all the same boat. "I just talked/texted/DMed with her yesterday." I've seen that so many times from so many people today. She managed to touch that many lives, up close, from afar, everywhere she went.
We bonded over a number of things: Being southern girls passionate about a northern sport. Our deep love for Texas and hockey and most importantly, sharing our love of the game with others through our media work. She didn't just dally around the edges of hockey either. She learned to play, she wrote about it, she connected with movers and shakers in the hockey media fearlessly -- not because of what they could do for her, but because of what she could learn from them.
It's been a really tough day. I can't imagine how much worse it's been for her family and closest friends. I'm surprised by how hard this has hit me personally, but Jessica stood for something that you don't see much anymore. She had integrity in the face of plenty of reasons to ditch integrity. She had maturity beyond her years in that regard (beyond MY years, even), and I've long admired her for that. I was so looking forward to seeing her career and her life blossom. She had so much going for her, I had no doubt she was going to get a big chance one of these days.
I've seen a lot of great things written about Jess today, but this post spoke to me the most.
I keep seeing pictures of her that her boyfriend is tagging on Facebook and I just can't believe she's gone. But in a way, she lives on in all of us who knew her, even just a little bit. I'm having her initials painted on my mask so I always carry a little piece of her spirit with me. But right now, it feels hollow. A pretty special light was extinguished last night and it will take a while to come out of the dark.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Well, that was a fun night at the rink.
Started with meeting the opposing goalie at the bar before the game for a few drinks. Neither of us had ever played tipsy goal before and we figured if we BOTH were buzzed, it would be an even playing field. So, tonight was the night. We met an hour before we had to get dressed, each knocked back 3 frozen strawberry margaritas, and wobbled to our locker rooms to get ready for the game.
The hardest part was remembering how to put my gear on. I'm usually kind of on auto-pilot doing that, but I kept having to stop and think, "Okay, now, what's next? How do I do this?" Once I got on the ice, though, I actually felt fantastic! Well, after a quick warm-up anyway. At first, I couldn't track the pucks (which made me giggle a lot), but I got it together pretty quick.
I've always said I'd be happier and more successful in life if I could just go around with the equivalent of one drink in me. Just knock that inhibition down a notch, right? And it seems that in goal, a little alcohol in the system and a little inhibition reduction is quite a good thing. Also, thinking less is good. Moving more freely without fear of really getting hurt. Just reacting. It was pretty great.
Of course, they scored first and I thought, "Uh oh" but it was a breakaway by their best player, so even sober, my odds aren't great there. Rest of the game, I made some crazy saves that I don't normally get to and though the score was stuck at 1-1 for a long time (how great a story would it have been if it had gone to a shootout?), we won 3-1 in the end.
Hard to deny that a little drinkie-poo might be a good thing, or at least isn't a bad thing. I think 3 drinks was too many, but a shot, maybe two, seems about right. I don't think I'll be making it a habit though. Too many calories negating the workout.
After the game, we headed back to the bar (I wasn't going to pass up victory beer) and I HAD to have some of their delish chicken noodle soup. So good!
Then I look over my shoulder and notice the Griffs taking the ice. I tell the girls, "OMG, my pretend goalie boyfriend is playing!" and from there, the rest of the night is spent watching the B-league game and cheering for my pretend goalie boyfriend (okay, one of many). He rocked it out as usual, in his foxy Brusty pads, and had a shutout until about 2 minutes left, when the dumb other team got a couple of quick goals that I totally blame on defense. :)
It was fun to watch and hopefully we didn't embarrass anyone with our cheering and gawking. I will admit, there was one glove save that made me blush. Inappropriate things were said. It was a really sweet.
Anyway, the Griffs took the win and we took off for the night.
Supposed to get up and run in the morning but I drank a bunch and wrote this instead. Goooodnight.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Here's a thing I can't figure out: I've got this one player who gives me the serious yips when he shows up for my Monday drop-ins. It's happened enough now where I'll have such good games without him there, and such horrible games with him there, that the pattern is crystal clear to me. Dude is in my head.
The issue for me is that he's really tall and beefy, very good at hockey, basically outplays everybody on the ice every week. We have smaller guys who are really good, but they can be bumped off the puck. People basically move out of this guy's way because he's just huge and they know he's going to beat them anyway. (so, let's just say, we don't get the best defensive play when it comes to shutting him down).
He gets what feels like 10 breakaways a game and can put the puck pretty much wherever he wants (and HARD, too) and makes it look like he's just taking out the trash, it's so easy and he so bored with it. But also, he's a nice guy, and doesn't deserve the animosity I feel toward him.
Anyway, lately, he comes at me and the rink starts spinning and my brain starts zapping and I tense up because the instinctive threat level is just off the charts after being beaten by him so many times. I'm like Pavlov's Dog... it's just an uncontrollable response at this point.
I've tried being rational with myself and acknowledging the problem and saying, "Hey, it's just for fun. Don't take it personally" and "If he's that good, you shouldn't be THAT bothered by getting scored on by him" and the ol' "look at it as an opportunity to improve! Think positive!"
But I'm unable to put that wisdom to action. I just have this uncontrollable swell of GAHHHHHHHH about him and it wrecks my whole night. I honestly just get anxious just seeing him, even off the ice.
So, help me out. How do I get a grip on this? How do I circumvent the panic response so I can play his shots with a little sanity like I do everyone else's?
I think that's the part that bothers me the most about it and what sets the whole negative chain of emotions off. If I felt like I could give him my best save attempt, I wouldn't feel so bad about getting beat. But my brain just short circuits at the sight of him. I feel like nothing I do will be successful against him and that helpless feeling is super sucky and counterproductive.
I've had this problem with other players before but I always ended up finding some weakness in them that made them less intimidating to me. I've been playing with this guy for years and I've done nothing but get more intimidated.
Maybe I should do like in the Waterboy and put a crying baby face on him. Not sure that would work, since I'm not so fond of babies either.
Impart your wisdom upon me, goalies and sports psychologists!
Thursday, June 7, 2012
1. Women's Tourney
Lots of fun and I saw WAY more shots than I normally do, which was a big challenge given the 4 games in 2 days situation. I worked my can off, and so did the rest of my team. Unfortunately, the divisions were kinda off (we were more novice, the other teams were more intermediate, even though it was a Novice/Intermediate "blended" division) so my team was unable to score. Ever.
Games went 3-0, 2-0, 6-0, and 3-0. Sigh. In a sense, it frees me from feeling bad about contributing to a loss because I'm not really in a position to provide offense. But I did actually play well, especially on the first day. I think there was maybe one goal the whole weekend that I felt like I definitely should have had (was probably a foot deep for the shot), and that was in the finals game, which ended up being against the other Houston team, and by then I was on auto-pilot, I was so tired.
The 6-0 was so bad because, as the other goalie told me between the 2nd and 3rd periods, they had to score a certain number of goals to get into the championship game. I was grateful she told me that because I and the rest of my team were ready to just start swinging sticks at these girls. And they were just way better than us. Held the zone, could pass nicely. A lot of those teams have been playing together a long time. We'd had one practice and a lot more true novice players. Really only one of the other teams even had any novice players. It was tough.
But I did get MVP for our first game. Unfortunately, they don't count shots (super lame), so I have no idea how many I faced, but about 10 minutes into the first when the other team had been in our zone for 9 of those minutes, I told the girls, "I can't do this for an hour." I was sucking wind and really grateful that I've been working out quite a bit lately or I might have left the ice on a stretcher.
2. Working out lately
I was so proud of losing weight early last year and then we got balls deep (eyeballs) in moving and selling our house and it was SO fucking stressful and busy -- add in the Aeros long playoff run and a ton of real job work and organizing Camp Brusty -- and I just didn't have the focus and energy to do the preparation required to eat right and make time to exercise other than hockey. And even that suffered.
But I'm back to chipping away at it again. I've done Weight Watchers enough now that I can almost set it on cruise control and not have to be too obsessed with it to stay on program. I don't even weigh in weekly because, with working out, it makes my weight fluctuate from day to day. So I only weigh in on days where I actually feel like I've lost weight. And I'm usually right. Saves the emotional rollercoaster of "gahhh, I worked so hard, why am I up a pound!" that I'd go through otherwise.
I love my iPhone so much. It's my partner in doing this, not only because I can track my points anywhere, but because for years, I've tried to do the Couch to 5K running program. I'd start and usually get hurt somehow before getting too deep. Plus, I was having to watch the clock to time my running and walking intervals. But the app does that for me, so I just go until the friendly lady says, "Begin walking" and I think what a nice lady she is for letting me stop running. But I'm enjoying the process more than I have before. I've got great music, the app lady doing the clock watching, and so far *knock on wood* no aching joints other than the ankle soreness that won't die (but that's a hockey injury). Week 4 begins with my next run, though, and it's the biggest ramp up so far. I'm excited to see how I fare. That will be Saturday morning's adventure.
On my off days, I'm doing goalie specific training, but I'm stalled on that a little at the moment until I go to the doctor tomorrow and find out why my fingertips are kinda numb on my pinky and ring fingers of both hands. Leave it to me to have some weird shit going on. Started after the tournament, and though I don't remember getting hurt, I don't see how it wouldn't be related somehow. I just want to get the "don't worry, do your thing" stamp of approval before I do some of the things in the workouts that I know put strain on my shoulders and neck and wrists.
3. Women's League
I suppose as a "make-up" for all that effort with not much reward in the tourney and a couple of less than stellar WL seasons, the hockey gods have blessed me with the best women's league team ever this season. We have 3 excellent defensemen, one super star who just moved here from Pittsburgh, and everyone else has that tenacious honey badger spirit where they just battle hard every shift and play their positions well. It's such a pleasure. Plus, they're all fun gals and I love my captain. Nirvana!
We even had one of our D and the super star out on Tuesday, so we only had 2 D the whole game and they never left the ice. I saw a whopping 11 shots (felt like more, but shots went wide, hit posts, etc. so I was working as hard as if they were shots) and we won 1-0. Last week was a shutout, too, but I saw 4 shots and it didn't even feel like that many, so I don't take any credit for that one. This week was a full team win. Really proud of the girls. Hard fought.
4. Hockey Season
It's almost over. :( Go Kings!