Riddle: What’s even better than hockey?
Answer: More hockey!
As you saw in my goon-afflicted Episode #7, The Brute, I’ve been playing street hockey since I was eight. When I was 23, I joined organized dek hockey leagues. I was mostly on very bad teams. I remember one Sunday morning, our last place team got pasted 33-0!
But there were enough successes (scoring is fun!) to keep going and after years of eating dirt, I finally lucked into getting on a championship team called “The Nutbags” at age 39. Then I quit and joined the rag-tag forty-somethings who play in pick-up (aka “Glue Factory”) dek leagues because I simply got too old to keep up with the youngsters. But after awhile, each game my body felt like a train wreck, and there were fights and other types of BS going on, so I started to teach myself rollerblading. I struggled mightily, but I got my reps in as a basis and in July 2009, I met Coach Dennis Chighisola, a genuine old-school hockey coach from Boston who has taught hockey to people in the thousands, from mites to NHL players.
“Coach Chic,” as he is called, took me on as a project to serve as a test case on his hockey website. He’s been writing about my progress for his coaches and players as a learning tool and some of the awkward video clips he took of me are truly comical. But I’ve made great strides and now I’m playing in pick-up roller hockey leagues. There’s still some BS going on but not as much as the dek leagues, and thanks to Coach Chic, I’m enjoying the game more than ever.