An Update For A Lack Of Updates

I don’t know how much of an audience I really have, if not just to entertain myself.

The posts have dropped off considerably, in part, because there hasn’t been enough to share.

It’s been a weird year, friends. It’s been a trying year.

Hockey is not something you can simply put down or walk away from. Whether it’s as a fan, a player at any level or someone who wants to build a rink.

I had to re-examine a few things, and I’m not sure if I have the answers. Enough of the cryptic, flowery language. Here’s what happened:

• My back wasn’t feeling the greatest and I knew I should have gone to the chiropractor but I couldn’t make time. I was overextending myself.

This season I was placed with a team I never played with and was asked to be a skater because there weren’t any slots left for goaltenders. I was asked to fill in goal with our goalie out, and I literally overextended myself. I really threw my back out for a number and it didn’t get better for two months. We won but it wasn’t worth it. Between work and the injury, I missed at least six straight games in the adult league I played in.

I tried to come back early, not feeling 100 percent, back to my spot playing sparingly on the wing. I hadn’t skated out for a league game in at least eight years. I was rusty and I knew it. I wasn’t awful, but with my back not cooperating it wasn’t pretty.

Our asshole-in-chief decided to call me out after a shutout loss, blaming it on me being fat, awful and that I should never play in the league again. Here’s the thing: I have gained weight from injuries and have been working to get back to form and it hasn’t happened. I would love to just drop the weight, but it doesn’t happen like that overnight. There was no respect, let alone no one rushing to my defense. Should I have clocked the guy, who ran the rink’s hockey programs? Sure, but it wouldn’t have helped my employment.

It was the most immature display I’ve ever been a part of in hockey. It was embarrassing. I knew I wasn’t at my best either.

I withdrew as much as I could from the thought of playing hockey. I was done with the team. I was done with the league, and it hurt that I felt I was done from ever stepping foot in the rink where I learned how to play.

After my Ottawa vacation where my back was still bad, I switched chiropractors and it was fixed for the most part on the first visit. It still feels great for now. Still, I couldn’t stomach playing. I didn’t touch the ice for over four months. I’ve still only hit the ice twice, in part because I work a part-time job.

I can’t exactly visit rinks if I’m not playing. I will say that for those two visits, I was pleased to see the boards and kickplate replaced at Galactic Ice in Altoona, Pa. Also, it was cool to go back to the Rockville Ice Arena in Maryland to see how much it’s grown and improved since I played a couple road games there as a teenager.

I’d love to play more but I don’t see that happening with working two jobs right now. It’ll probably be another year before I can play twice a week again, let alone more than twice in four months. My goal is to pay off all my bills before I can quit the part-time job. That could have happened this year but I needed a break from the grind by using the job for a couple of trips I’ve been waiting to take.

So that’s the first reason: injury, humiliation and depression.

The second is my efforts trying to bring any kind of ice rink to Frostburg hit a snag.

It was clear that the student group I was working with couldn’t make this an exclusively student or FSU venture. Too many barriers exist to bring one to campus and there is only so much students with a full course load can do. It was also disheartening to see so many people sign up in support and of interest working on it, but only three students committed to show up to every meeting. Even though the 40 or so people said they were interested didn’t show, those people do represent opportunity. Those are people who would come to the rink for activities and would bring a friend.

I received messages over the summer from a couple of people wondering what’s happening. I wanted to give up on it, but I decided to give it one more go by focusing on other entities that could host the rink. I have a person in the community that seems committed to helping make this happen somewhere in the area. Let’s see what we can accomplish.

I needed the mental break from working on it even though I wish I would have continued doing research on my own because even August can be too late to get things going for this year.

Those are the two big reasons you’ve seen little here, along with working two jobs. Thanks on indulging me on this pity party.

I’ll be crossing off two NHL arena visits off my list in the coming months, too. Montreal and Vegas, here I come!



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