(I received this note on Tuesday, posting anonymously. To the author: thank you very much for this really, really nice note. It meant a lot. BG)
I was thinking about Thanksgiving this week and the things for which I’m thankful (I know – kind of sappy).
I’m fortunate to have a lot of things on my list – mostly the standard, but truly important things – health, family, friends, etc.
But, I realized a new one this year.
I’m really thankful to have hockey in my life.
Corny? Sure. But I really am.
Hockey has given me a mental break from the things in the world that try to stress me out.
Hockey has been a real, but fun challenge (as someone who could barely stand on my skates 2 year ago).
Hockey has made me a member of a team, again – something I figured I’d left for good when I was 18.
Hockey has given me an excuse to hang out with old friends and make a lot of new ones.
Hockey has given me a new experience to share with my kids.
Hockey makes me feel like I’m a kid, again.
Until 2 years ago, I didn’t care about the sport, at all. Never watched it. Never knew anything about it. Never thought I’d care.
Two years later–
I love hockey.
Why tell you all of this?
Well, I don’t think I’d be playing hockey, were it not for JMS.
Two years ago, my oldest son told me that he wanted to start playing hockey. I try to support my kids in whatever they want to try, but I realized that this would be the first time that I wouldn’t be able to help coach or give advice to one of them — I knew nothing and couldn’t even skate. So, I looked online in the off chance that there would be opportunities for almost-40-year-olds to learn to skate and play. I realize now that, of course, there are opportunities. This is the State of Hockey!
I read about lots of leagues, but most sounded too geared towards adults who had experience, or sounded like leagues that have problems with parity. I read about the AHA and the Beginner School and thought it sounded great. The only problem was that I didn’t want to dish out several hundreds of dollars on gear and tuition, then find out that I hated it.
Then I found the JMS website. Sure, I’d have to invest in some cheap gear, but only $15 to try a session — that’s more like it.
Anyway, if it hadn’t been for the Level 1 sessions, I really doubt that I would have kept with it. The supportive, fun atmosphere made me feel comfortable being the worst on the ice for a long time. The times were flexible and if I got called away to work at the last minute and couldn’t skate, no one would really care. It also made me realize that an investment in the Beginner School was one that was worthwhile.
REALLY long story and long way of getting around to saying “Thanks.” But I really mean it. Thanks, Barb.
Hockey has been a great gift to me. Happy Thanksgiving.