Yesterday I was inducted into a great Canadian tradition: Road Hockey!
It all started with a few tweets by Joe Boughner and soon it became the Ottawa First Road Hockey Showdown After a failure to get a team together, I ended up joining Randy Little’s Senaleafs. Next step: get a hold of a hockey stick, which I ended up borrowing from a friend.
I got up Saturday morning – all excited, and got dressed. On my way there, I was feeling decidedly Canadian wearing my Senators jersey and carrying a hockey stick, pigtails and all.
I arrived to the Ottawa Goodtime Centre and was welcomed by the delicious smell of the Hintonburger’s burgers and hot dogs on the BBQ. Om nom nom. As the good Canadian I am, I immediately proceeded to gulp down two yummy burgers and managed to get all the condiments on my jacket and my hockey stick (any tips on how to get condiments off a ski jacket are most welcome).
Then it was time to sign the waivers and get on with the tournament. The first game started and right away the anxiety downed on me. Good lord, what did I get myself into? I went to my team mates and asked them to show me how to hold the hockey stick. This doesn’t bode well, they said, with a smile. I smiled nervously back at them. I should also note that I’m left handed and I had a right handed stick. Oh well, I thought. It’s all for charity, anyway.
Then it was our time to play. Butterflies in my stomach! a few minutes into the first half I found myself thinking: Hey! this is A LOT of fun! playing with a right handed stick felt a bit weird at first but soon I got the hang of it. However, we were facing a good team and we were being cremated at first. We got it together for the second half but still lost. It was exhilarating nonetheless!
Then we had to play our second game right away. Thank goodness, Randy had arrived by that time, and with his help and the fact that now we had a bench and we were able to take breaks, we managed to win. Someone from the crowd lent me a left handed stick which also made it much easier for me. A little bit of adjustment cause at that point I was already used to the right handed stick but after a few minutes I was back in track… to not doing much, of course.
But guess what? With the goal difference, we also got in the final! Go Senaleafs Go!
On the other hand, that also meant playing a third game. At this point my back (recently injured while doing swing acrobatics) was complaining loudly. I decided to ignore it. Heck, it was THE FINAL of my first road hockey experience ever! who cares about a sissy back?
Shut up – I said, and proudly walked with my team mates for the puck drop.
In the end we lost the game in spite of the valiant efforts of my team members and the awesome performance of our new goalie, Littler Little.
But! we won so many things: Lots of smiles and new friendships The great feeling of doing a good deed. The joy of being out on a beautiful (if only slightly on the cool side) Fall afternoon.
I love living in Canada. I’m proud of being Canadian and I’m very honoured to now be part of one of the greatest Great White North traditions: Road Hockey! next step, Ice Hockey… maybe.
Many thanks to Joe and Amy Boughner for putting this event together. Many thanks to all the sponsors -for a complete list, please see the Showdown site, the kind people that donated the yummy baked goods, all the players and also their families that came to cheers for us. And special thanks to my team mates who were so kind and supportive to me. Great team job!
We managed to raise $1475 for the Ottawa Food Bank, plus two big boxes full of food and I’ve been told they can turn every dollar into $5. YAY!
And non-twitter people still ask me why I like Twitter so much. Thank you my tweeps. You rock!
Senaleaf line up
Littler Little Not on Twitter… yet ;)