How Playing Hockey With 12-Year-Olds Made Me Want to Be a Better Person

If I promise this is NOT a sports post, will you bear with me for the next 350 words or so?

See, I spend A LOT of time writing. (I know, you’d think I’d be better at it by now, right? Shut up, brain.) And when I’m not writing, I’m researching writing. And after the kids go to bed, I do s’more.


Except for twice a week.

Twice a week, I play hockey.

I’m a goalie. Have been for 26 years. Pretty competitive, too. These days, it’s just for fun–but it’s more to fun to win. (Stole that little nugget from a bumper sticker.)

Though I’m still quite good, my skills are on the decline. I’m not going to blame this on age. Mostly because this whole “turning 40” bit is getting old –no pun intended. (Ok, sort of intended.)

I’m going to blame this on a lack of practice.

After college, practices aren’t really a thing anymore. So I haven’t had formal training in years.

This summer, I registered for a goalie clinic, even though the average camper was like, 12.

But I gave it a shot.

I won’t bore you with details, but let’s just say registration day offered its fair share of awkward moments.

  • They didn’t have a jersey big enough for me
  • Everyone assumed I was an instructor
  • I got called “sir” by another goalie
  • Nobody was quite sure where to look in the locker room (no nudity, but it was still weird)

I took it seriously though–even the skating drills and picking up pucks. And I earned a few middle schooler fist bumps along the way.

After 4 days, I was exhausted, battered and could hardly move. But I was a better goalie. And I played faster. And I was happy. That carried through to my day-to-day.

And as sore as I was, I felt better.

Because I was.

Uh oh, sitcom learning moment coming…

Keep honing your craft. Any craft. Every craft. Build skills for the things you enjoy doing–not just what needs doing.

Because at some point, we (ok, me) put aside those things a little bit before we should.

Sha la la la.


Next week I’ll write something funnier.



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