Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Believe in Miracles

--Adrienne Miller

I held my boyfriend’s hand as he stepped up to my parent’s porch. Though I could tell he was doing his best to hide it from me, he was nervous. Who wouldn’t be? Meeting the parents is a stressful thing.

The door swung open and there was my dad--a formidable man--blocking the entrance.

“So, you’re Tom, eh?”

“Yes.”

“Do you like hockey?” my dad asked. We both got the sense that our entrance depended on his answer.

“I love it.”

Now I was nervous. I knew Tom had never seen a hockey game in his life. The only little bits he knew of the game came from what I had told him on the car ride over--the basics of offsides and icing and interference. That was it.

Tom was going to have to bring his A bullshitting-game to survive the next three hours with my family.

Turns out, my future husband--himself no scrawny weakling--was up to the challenge. One game, that was all it took and he was hooked.

Now, I’m not sure this is really how it went down, it was over a decade ago. My parents might have a different account of the story, but I swear this is how both Tom and I remember it. And it gives you a pretty good idea how crazy my family is over hockey.


I love hockey. I love the speed, the athleticism, the intensity and the tension. I love the feeling of being a fan--I’m a San Jose Sharks girl, in case you haven’t noticed--the sense of belonging, the hope, the pride, the rivalries.

To me a big part of hockey is family. We have a family high-five-handshake-thingy that we do every time someone scores. My dad and I call each other after every goal. I even talked to my parents about what they thought I should write about in this post.

My mom joked that I should write about how hockey is a metaphor for life. Which is funny, since we all know that its the other way around, right?

But it's a good a theme as any, so here goes: What hockey has taught me.

If you want something you’ve just got to get in there and put on your warrior face. There are going to be times where you have to face off against someone with better stats. Every now again you’ll have to battle it out along the boards, and you’re not going to win if you’re worried about getting hurt.

Celebrate every goal. You worked hard. Have your moment. Then get back in the game. Some days you’ll win and somedays you’ll lose, but every goal along the way is awesome.

Sometimes you can do the impossible. You can make that jaw-dropping save, snatch victory out of thin air, make something out of nothing. Really. I’ve seen it.
Of course, when all else fails you can do what Tom did and just fake it.

3 comments:

Sophie Littlefield said...

OK now I totally want to go to a sharks game with you...mostly because I am itching to see what the family high-five looks like! I am trying to picture everyone from your dad down to the littlest guy somehow piling on to that one.

Cannot wait to watch lax with you. Are Millers screamers??

Tom Neely said...

Forget this writing romance business, you've got to write a "life lessons learned from hockey" book instead. It could still have a step-back cover, you know.

Imagine how different all our lives would be had your dad been scrawny.....

Less than a week til pre-season games start. Woooooooohoooooo!

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