Monthly Archives: February 2013

Oh boy! Another goalie

Lacrosse Twigs

Lacrosse goalies have different sticks than players – news to me!

So I’ve been a goalie mom for a couple of years now – a hockey goalie mom. I have gotten better at dressing the part with warm socks and extra layers and have even gotten better at not needing to pace during every game (just some of them). It has been, and continues to be, an adventure and, while I have learned a lot, I still need to know so much more.

My hockey education, however, may have to take a backseat for a little bit while I climb my way up a new learning curve – for lacrosse.

My son has joined up with a lacrosse team this spring, with the intention of being – what else? – the goalie. Mind you, he has NO knowledge about the game and his experience is limited to tossing the ball a few times with a friend. Once. OK, maybe twice. But he went to practice the other day (in his hockey helmet, hockey shoulder pads, and hockey gloves – because that is how we roll) and jumped right into the net and had a ball. He loved every minute of it, with the exception of the couple of times that the ball cracked his shins, leaving a pretty impressive bruise, I must say.

Today he went back, but was more prepared. This time he wore his hockey pants and his shin pads, which I have to say made his look a bit doofy. But he was happy and it didn’t hurt when he got hit, so I suppose the lesson is that looks really don’t matter as long as you are safe. Yes, I realize that, as his mother, I should be the one teaching that lesson, not learning it from him. Nobody’s perfect.

So it appears that the next few months are going to involve tending a whole new type of goalie. I will be learning right alongside of him – as I told him today, he needs to learn how to play the game and I will work on figuring out the gear and all the other things. Like the rules.

Wish us luck!

I’m a Runner

Muddy and wet after a race

Muddy and wet after a race

I harbor a (no longer so) secret desire to be featured in the “I’m a Runner” column that is at the end of each issue of Runner’s World (I also want to be one of the super cool women shown in the Title Nine catalog but that is another story).

Since I doubt it will happen anytime soon, I am writing my own entry.

I’m a Runner

I started running as a kid to get into shape for my first love, soccer. My father used to run a lot and I’d go out with him for a two-mile loop around the neighborhood.

I became a “runner” when I joined the track and cross-country teams in high school. I went out for track to get in shape for the spring soccer season, but found my home there and never looked back.

I still sometimes look over my shoulder for my XC coach’s gray car when I am out for a run. He’d follow us to see how we were doing (and to make sure we weren’t goofing off). I’m still working hard, John.

My first longer-distance race was a half marathon. Sometime during my month of bed rest before my son’s birth I agreed to the race, figuring it would get me back in shape. Six months, almost to the day, after he was born, via C-section no less, I toed up at the start line like a crazy person.

That race was pretty miserable. It poured for the first 7-8 miles and then I hit mile 9. Not having gotten beyond 9 miles during my training, I had to stop and walk the last bit. But I made it across the finish line!

I’ve since run a couple more halfs, a marathon, and a bunch of 10-milers. I’ve even dabbled in the “extreme” races, complete with electric shocks and ice water.

I still play soccer and running keeps me in shape for that, but now I mainly run for the sake of running. It is my quiet time, my “me” time, and my chance to keep pushing myself.

A great run is a feeling you can’t replicate. The high is real and it feels like you are walking on clouds. Of course, not all runs are great but even a sucky run is better than no run at all. Usually.

I hope someday my son will embrace running like his dad and I have. It truly is a lifelong habit and something I think we can all enjoy together. At a minimum, he’ll have to start running to get in shape for his first love, hockey. Life is so circular.

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Life Lesson #1

Having participated in organized (and not so organized) sports my whole life, I am a firm believer that you learn much about life from sports. There are so many life lessons that I think we can learn from both individual and team sports that I could ramble on forever. I’ll start with just one today.

You can’t be great every day, but you can always give it your best. We’ve all had those days when everything goes right and we feel great, we know we look great, the presentation or test or race or whatever we have on the schedule that day goes even better than we hoped – we have a great day. In sports, it happens when you are ON. You make the saves or score the goals or set a PR or hit the target. It may not even feel like you have to exert much effort on these days, you just move and things go your way.

Everything clicks.

The lesson to realize is that these days are few and far between. Most days, we are less than perfect. We make mistakes and we don’t score. Our hair looks funny and we forget to bring some important papers to a meeting. What is important, on those more typical days, is that even though we may not be having a great day, we still need to give it our all. Doing your best and not quite getting there is so much better than phoning it in. Even if both get you to the same place – knowing you tried is so much better than knowing you didn’t. I’ve been trying to explain this to my son, who had one of those “great” games yesterday followed by a loss today. He got caught up in the high of the “great” and found the fall back to normal a bit discouraging. Won’t be the last time, so best to learn this lesson early.

I have always liked this lyric  – “There’s no such thing as a failure who keeps trying. Coasting to the bottom is the only disgrace” (Blues Traveler, “Just Wait”). I think that sums it up well.

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