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Covid-19 – The Steps Back to the Ice


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Skated twice on an outside rough patch of ice the past week, no gear and I gotta say, it's not pretty lolll. I'm hoping my movements are well camoflaged by the gear once I play :D 

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I finally got back on the ice for the first time since December of 2019.  I had to take some time off between December and March due to an injury and financial reasons.  Then obviously we all know wha

Well, I missed 8 months of hockey, got 3 games in and then it all shut down again as per @Wonder35's comment above. Especially at my age I would like (more like need) to get in every game I can and th

*windmill glove saves*

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I finally got back on the ice for the first time since December of 2019.  I had to take some time off between December and March due to an injury and financial reasons.  Then obviously we all know what happen starting in March.  

I was able to play in a high school alumni inline tournament in September which was fun seeing a lot of the guys but the hockey part was not all that fun for me.  It was my first time playing roller hockey in about 10 years. 

I think I played decently well in the first two games.  It was very obvious that I was not used to playing on wheels and sport court.  I would go to slide and go nowhere, even with slippery tape applied to the sliding edges of my pads.  I remembered when I used to play that I actually did really well sliding across the crease by doing what is called a cowling slide.  Basically instead of sliding on your pads you slide on the cowling.  You can't go as far as ice but it was better than nothing.  Welllllllll it just so happens that I had converted some Graf 7500 boots into cowlingless ice skates right about that time and decided I wanted to use them for roller so I had them then converted to cowlingless inline skates.  Yea, no sliding on those haha.  Anyways, both of the first two games were close and relatively low scoring.  I don't remember the actual scores but one was a tie and one was a loss.  The 3rd game really showed my rustiness.  A complete blowout to the team that I think ended up winning our division.  

Throughout the winter we were able to get back on the ice for puck shoots and shinny, nothing with refs and scorekeepers.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make any of the games my team played throughout December and January.  Finally, this past Friday night February 5th 2021, I was able to play in a "tune up" game with my team.  Man it was great to be on the ice again.  I let in quite a few that I should have had, I will not lie lol.  I think I played well considering the timeframe I was away from the ice.  My legs were jello by the start of the third, my conditioning is clearly not where it once was.  My own fault, I haven't so much as even stretched since the inline tournament and prior to that was my last game so I take all the blame for that.

I had this feeling the following day on Saturday.  As much fun as it was to be on the ice and around the guys again, it felt like it wasn't worth the effort to do it.  Leaving my son from snuggling in bed, packing everything up and lugging it.  Getting dressed without locker rooms and showers, driving home dirty and sweaty and having to shower at home.  Unpacking everything and hanging it up to dry in front of the fans.  The soreness I felt on Saturday.  I don't know, I feel like I might have lost my drive and love for the game, grown complacent.  Whenever the fact that I play hockey came up in a conversation(for whatever reasons) with someone who didn't know and they asked how I like it I always said that I loved it and would play until I could no longer walk.  I had visions of me being like @Wonder35 playing into my 60s and 70s god willing.  This was the first time in my life that I questioned the worth of it all.  It was a shitty feeling to say the least.  Our next game, the final game of our Winter 2019 season, is not for 2 weeks and then onto the playoffs.  We are finishing the season that got postponed last year.  I guess I will see how I feel after the next 2 or 3 games.  Could this be the end?

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SaveByRichter35, a most thoughtful and reflective post. 

41 minutes ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

I feel like I might have lost my drive and love for the game, grown complacent. 

It happens, but don't let this feeling define you.  Heck, I've retired from the game a handful of times due to work and family priorities, health or inability to play at a higher level of hockey than I could provide. When we moved across the country in 2006, as part of a retirement plan, I left my gear behind.  

Within 3 months I discovered 55+ hockey.  My gear was shipped in 2 boxes by our son and a week later arrived at the door. I was back in the game!

It's supposed to be fun. When playing goal isn't enjoyable why continue? Maybe your body will respond better on the ice if you give it a fair chance - off ice exercise, providing it isn't a chore.  The roller games last September are probably not a fair representation of your ability and an inaccurate measurement.

My free advice (yeah, yeah, you get what you pay for), don't rush into a retirement decision. Hang onto your gear.  When and if the opportunity arises accept that unexpected call for a fill-in game.

In the meantime keep posting on this forum. You are a valuable member of our community.

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I remember my first game back from an extended break during this covid garbage.

I absolutely hated it. I was bagged by the halfway mark, I was dreading every time guys would skate into my zone, I was missing pucks all over the place. I was miserable afterwards and wondered why I bothered. Obviously I stuck with it and my muscle memory and overall fitness improved in a few ice times and I was back to loving it.

Not being able to shoot the shit in the dressing room over beers, not being able to shower, and the nagging notion that we're getting older and fatter definitely takes away from a lot from what made heading to the rink and playing enjoyable. Especially as I'm getting older, the socializing of it all starts to take a heavier focus than just the competition of being on the ice.

Covid is obviously taking that portion away.

Long story short, don't take your first game back from a VERY extended break as a true indication of your mindset when it comes to the game. Give it a few more tries and reassess. I'm sure you'll be thankful you did.

 

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12 minutes ago, Wonder35 said:

SaveByRichter35, a most thoughtful and reflective post. 

It happens, but don't let this feeling define you.  Heck, I've retired from the game a handful of times due to work and family priorities, health or inability to play at a higher level of hockey than I could provide. When we moved across the country in 2006, as part of a retirement plan, I left my gear behind.  

Within 3 months I discovered 55+ hockey.  My gear was shipped in 2 boxes by our son and a week later arrived at the door. I was back in the game!

It's supposed to be fun. When playing goal isn't enjoyable why continue? Maybe your body will respond better on the ice if you give it a fair chance - off ice exercise, providing it isn't a chore.  The roller games last September are probably not a fair representation of your ability and an inaccurate measurement.

My free advice (yeah, yeah, you get what you pay for), don't rush into a retirement decision. Hang onto your gear.  When and if the opportunity arises accept that unexpected call for a fill-in game.

In the meantime keep posting on this forum. You are a valuable member of our community.

Thanks, Wonder.  I sure won't be making any long term decisions based off of one ice time.  The thought of selling some, not all(I would never sell all), of my gear to fund a brand new mower that I have been wanting did cross my mind a few times on the drive home from the rink haha(my lawncare was the hobby that I picked up last spring to take up my time and finances that hockey was no longer occupying lol).  

I have been recruited to play for a local all Veteran team, the Long Island Warriors.  Several states have a Warrior team that is semi linked/supported to the local NHL team.  We're unfortunately linked to the Islanders.  I haven't been able to get on the ice with them yet, again due to work.  I told them I would like to play when I can but I certainly cannot commit full time due to my schedule.  These damn kids really put a hamper on things haha.  Funny though, this is exactly the kind of team that I was dying to join before we had kids.  

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I took a 8 year break after playing high school and one year of a club college team.  I played a couple of years of Roller with friends and my brother in law.  I had to stop. I was focusing too much on winning. It’s silly I know.   At about this time I bought my first house and my soon to be wife moved so I really didn’t have time for it anyway.   I said I was done.  I really thought I was.

 
Few years went by I hit 30.  My Younger cousin a fellow goalie was still playing.  He was showing me some new gear he had just bought. 
Asked where he bought it he said Goaliemonkey.  So that night I start looking around on their website.  Gear had changed a lot since I bought my last pair of pads (Eagles for those wondering) I kept going back to the website days later.  I told my wife I think I’m gonna play hockey again.  She said wow you sore up and down you were done.  (Ah the power of new gear). 
 

So at 31 I signed up for men’s league.  I had no contacts of in the league so I got placed on a team. And Friends that team was awful.  But I didn’t care I was having a blast again. As the season went on a few of us would go to open hockey sessions and work on getting better.  Finished out the season with a few wins.  It was just fun again.  Due to my work schedule I’d play in fall/winter. So the following year I started skating in August bought some new gear.  (Ah gear). Needed a Team still,  I ended up running into an old friend from high school. She asked if I still played hockey I said I just got back into it a year ago.  She says my husbands team is looking for a goalie. I said I’ll do it. These guys were good! We had a great season came up a little short in the championship game.  ( I let in a bad one or two).  It sucked but as I look back at it it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had playing.  
 

I played the next few years. League , alumni game, fill ins for other guys team an  I met along the way.  One was an 6 o’clock game. My wife and oldest daughter suprised me and showed up to watch me play.  I was maybe 35 at the time she was 5 I kinda wanted me kids to see me play once before I hung it up. Despite losing the game 3-0 I played a heck of a game. I even stopped a penalty shot.  My wife told me after words. My daughter said why does everyone keep clapping when Daddy gets the puck.  Lol kids.  Couple years 
I later played in an alumni game and both my kids got to watch. I wasn’t as stellar but who cares.  
 

Man this got winded, I remember the moment when I said I might actually be done wasn’t an injury or sucking. I went to an open hockey to play with some new gear. I played fine gear was great.  I happened the next day. When I played hockey the entire time from 12-38 I always had a I can’t wait to do that again. This time was different. I havent played since.(2018)About a month before that I filled last minute for my brother in laws roller team. I hadn’t play roller in years at that point.  It was fun best part was I met @MTH . 
 

I turned 40 this year my younger cousin sent me a happy birthday text and said now you can join 40plus beer league.  I said maybe but I doubt it.  I tell you all as I told him. The game has given me so much .  I’ll won’t say I’m 100% done. But right now I’m at peace if this is where my hockey journey ends. It’s been a great ride. 

Edited by Mike24
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I’ll add my comments to this – and try to be brief*. For the most part I share a lot of commonality with others who posted here. In brief:

  • Played from teen years to early 30s
  • Got married, bought a house had a kid on the way
  • All my gear needed to be replaced (my blocker was more duct tape than leather) and that was going to be expensive, and most importantly…
  • I was ready for a break – felt like I wasn’t playing well and wasn’t enjoying it

When I walked away from it, I never said I wouldn’t play again, I just didn’t really consider it – lots of other stuff to do.

Not-so-fast-forward 20+ years: a bunch of people I work with decide to get together to play a few street  (actually basketball court) hockey games. I hop in net and do pretty well (in my mind), and then bug bites again. At 54 I’m back on the ice using semi-modern gear to play old-school style. I start really researching the position, advantages/disadvantages of the new style and decide to modernize my game.

That was 8 years ago – I’m 62 now and chomping at the bit to get back on the ice. At my age I feel like every week I am not playing I’m losing a lot of the new skills I worked on over the past 8 years.

My advice to anyone who is younger that is considering taking a break, do yourself a favour and don’t stay totally away from the position. I think of how much better a goalie I would be now if I had played once a month, be it ice, roller or street/ball hockey in net.

And to cross-post, with regard to the thread recently started about playing out – I did that while on my 20+ year hiatus for probably 5 -6 years. All I can say is it is sooooo much easier to put pucks in the  net as opposed to keeping them out.

(*OK - brevity fail)

Edited by Colander
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5 hours ago, Mike24 said:

I took a 8 year break after playing high school and one year of a club college team.  I played a couple of years of Roller with friends and my brother in law.  I had to stop. I was focusing too much on winning. It’s silly I know.   At about this time I bought my first house and my soon to be wife moved so I really didn’t have time for it anyway.   I said I was done.  I really thought I was.

Few years went by I hit 30.  My Younger cousin a fellow goalie was still playing.  He was showing me some new gear he had just bought. 
Asked where he bought it he said Goaliemonkey.  So that night I start looking around on their website.  Gear had changed a lot since I bought my last pair of pads (Eagles for those wondering) I kept going back to the website days later.  I told my wife I think I’m gonna play hockey again.  She said wow you sore up and down you were done.  (Ah the power of new gear). 

So at 31 I signed up for men’s league.  I had no contacts of in the league so I got placed on a team. And Friends that team was awful.  But I didn’t care I was having a blast again. As the season went on a few of us would go to open hockey sessions and work on getting better.  Finished out the season with a few wins.  It was just fun again.  Due to my work schedule I’d play in fall/winter. So the following year I started skating in August bought some new gear.  (Ah gear). Needed a Team still,  I ended up running into an old friend from high school. She asked if I still played hockey I said I just got back into it a year ago.  She says my husbands team is looking for a goalie. I said I’ll do it. These guys were good! We had a great season came up a little short in the championship game.  ( I let in a bad one or two).  It sucked but as I look back at it it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had playing.  

I played the next few years. League , alumni game, fill ins for other guys team an  I met along the way.  One was an 6 o’clock game. My wife and oldest daughter suprised me and showed up to watch me play.  I was maybe 35 at the time she was 5 I kinda wanted me kids to see me play once before I hung it up. Despite losing the game 3-0 I played a heck of a game. I even stopped a penalty shot.  My wife told me after words. My daughter said why does everyone keep clapping when Daddy gets the puck.  Lol kids.  Couple years 
I later played in an alumni game and both my kids got to watch. I wasn’t as stellar but who cares.  

Man this got winded, I remember the moment when I said I might actually be done wasn’t an injury or sucking. I went to an open hockey to play with some new gear. I played fine gear was great.  I happened the next day. When I played hockey the entire time from 12-38 I always had a I can’t wait to do that again. This time was different. I havent played since.(2018)About a month before that I filled last minute for my brother in laws roller team. I hadn’t play roller in years at that point.  It was fun best part was I met @MTH . 

I turned 40 this year my younger cousin sent me a happy birthday text and said now you can join 40plus beer league.  I said maybe but I doubt it.  I tell you all as I told him. The game has given me so much .  I’ll won’t say I’m 100% done. But right now I’m at peace if this is where my hockey journey ends. It’s been a great ride. 

I was talking to my wife about my feelings about this last night.  She didn't really say much, I think deep down she is hoping I am done lol.  I know it bothered her that I put hockey before almost everything very often.  I was constantly leaving family gatherings early so I could go to the rink if I had a game.  I think the past year+ was probably one of the happiest times of our relationship because I never had to leave for hockey lol(I say that in jest...I think lol)

Anyways, back to my point.  One of the things that bothered me about stopping was my kids.  They both watched me play 2 summers ago.  She was an infant and he was still a toddler so its nothing they would remember.  I want my kids to watch me play some more before I am done for good.  

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I apologize for the long post.  But yeah those 2 games I mentioned where my kids were there. It was awesome. Peering up at em after I made a save and watching them clap.  That was good stuff.  
 

I would not have dreamed that would’ve happened back when I was 12 or so and trying to scrape up money to buy gear to play ice hockey. 
 

At this time I feel it is appropriate to and thank Play it again Sports.  Without a place like that I may have never been able to put together a set.  ( for the young bucks there was a time where there was no internet) scary huh? 

Edited by Mike24
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I learned to sew keeping what little gear I had going. To this day I break out the sewing machine or just the awl to the amazement of many. ha ha. I didn't get on any ice until I was done college.

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On 2/8/2021 at 12:32 PM, SaveByRichter35 said:

  We are finishing the season that got postponed last year.  I guess I will see how I feel after the next 2 or 3 games.  Could this be the end?

Been a bit - how you doing?

I got bored of playing. Pulling the gear and leaving the family - just as you said - wasn't worth what I got out of playing.

I don't miss it yet. Been two years. I think my wife misses me being in better shape.

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On 2/8/2021 at 3:08 PM, Mike24 said:

It was fun best part was I met @MTH . 

Thanks man. Wasn't the smell of skating rink pizza and the sound of the Ice Ball machine in the background that made it a blast?

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On 2/8/2021 at 5:45 PM, SaveByRichter35 said:

 

Anyways, back to my point.  One of the things that bothered me about stopping was my kids.  They both watched me play 2 summers ago.  She was an infant and he was still a toddler so its nothing they would remember.  I want my kids to watch me play some more before I am done for good.  

This one hit home for me.  I was 3 years into my 20 year hiatus from hockey when my daughter was born.  She had seen old VHS from my Junior days, and had always wanted to see me play in person.  It was one of the highlights of my life to see how thrilled she was to finally watch me play when I got back on the ice.
Maybe a year away from the game could be good for you.  All I can say, is never give it up completely.  And, stay involved here!  It keeps your mind in the game, and your input is always awesome.  Besides, I don't think I could handle @coopaloop1234 missing you...

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On 2/16/2021 at 2:37 PM, MTH said:

Been a bit - how you doing?

I got bored of playing. Pulling the gear and leaving the family - just as you said - wasn't worth what I got out of playing.

I don't miss it yet. Been two years. I think my wife misses me being in better shape.

I played in that "preseason tune up" game a few weeks ago and haven't been out since.  My team has an actual game tomorrow night.  This is a real regular season game, the last game of the season which got put on hold due to the shutdown last year.  We'll then roll into playoffs.  I am having a bit of a crisis of faith(?), morals(?)...I am having a brainfart lol.  Morals I guess is the right term...anyway, I do want to play tomorrow night but the kid who played net for me last season while I couldn't play(from December until the lockdown) did pay for the full season.  I want to play but I feel like I should at least ask him if he wants to play in the game since he did pay.  I hate having a conscience sometimes haha.  

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On 2/16/2021 at 4:20 PM, Naz said:

This one hit home for me.  I was 3 years into my 20 year hiatus from hockey when my daughter was born.  She had seen old VHS from my Junior days, and had always wanted to see me play in person.  It was one of the highlights of my life to see how thrilled she was to finally watch me play when I got back on the ice.
Maybe a year away from the game could be good for you.  All I can say, is never give it up completely.  And, stay involved here!  It keeps your mind in the game, and your input is always awesome.  Besides, I don't think I could handle @coopaloop1234 missing you...

Well I already gave it up for over a year that is why I am feeling this way hahaha.  Don't worry though, as I said in the previous post, I do kinda have the itch.  I recently got some new skates and I just got them baked last night, I am ready to go lol.  And even if I did stop playing I am not leaving this place.  

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On 2/8/2021 at 12:32 PM, SaveByRichter35 said:

I finally got back on the ice for the first time since December of 2019.  I had to take some time off between December and March due to an injury and financial reasons.  Then obviously we all know what happen starting in March.  

I was able to play in a high school alumni inline tournament in September which was fun seeing a lot of the guys but the hockey part was not all that fun for me.  It was my first time playing roller hockey in about 10 years. 

I think I played decently well in the first two games.  It was very obvious that I was not used to playing on wheels and sport court.  I would go to slide and go nowhere, even with slippery tape applied to the sliding edges of my pads.  I remembered when I used to play that I actually did really well sliding across the crease by doing what is called a cowling slide.  Basically instead of sliding on your pads you slide on the cowling.  You can't go as far as ice but it was better than nothing.  Welllllllll it just so happens that I had converted some Graf 7500 boots into cowlingless ice skates right about that time and decided I wanted to use them for roller so I had them then converted to cowlingless inline skates.  Yea, no sliding on those haha.  Anyways, both of the first two games were close and relatively low scoring.  I don't remember the actual scores but one was a tie and one was a loss.  The 3rd game really showed my rustiness.  A complete blowout to the team that I think ended up winning our division.  

Throughout the winter we were able to get back on the ice for puck shoots and shinny, nothing with refs and scorekeepers.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make any of the games my team played throughout December and January.  Finally, this past Friday night February 5th 2021, I was able to play in a "tune up" game with my team.  Man it was great to be on the ice again.  I let in quite a few that I should have had, I will not lie lol.  I think I played well considering the timeframe I was away from the ice.  My legs were jello by the start of the third, my conditioning is clearly not where it once was.  My own fault, I haven't so much as even stretched since the inline tournament and prior to that was my last game so I take all the blame for that.

I had this feeling the following day on Saturday.  As much fun as it was to be on the ice and around the guys again, it felt like it wasn't worth the effort to do it.  Leaving my son from snuggling in bed, packing everything up and lugging it.  Getting dressed without locker rooms and showers, driving home dirty and sweaty and having to shower at home.  Unpacking everything and hanging it up to dry in front of the fans.  The soreness I felt on Saturday.  I don't know, I feel like I might have lost my drive and love for the game, grown complacent.  Whenever the fact that I play hockey came up in a conversation(for whatever reasons) with someone who didn't know and they asked how I like it I always said that I loved it and would play until I could no longer walk.  I had visions of me being like @Wonder35 playing into my 60s and 70s god willing.  This was the first time in my life that I questioned the worth of it all.  It was a shitty feeling to say the least.  Our next game, the final game of our Winter 2019 season, is not for 2 weeks and then onto the playoffs.  We are finishing the season that got postponed last year.  I guess I will see how I feel after the next 2 or 3 games.  Could this be the end?

I read this the day after you posted, and thought about it a lot - but still couldn’t think of much to say. I totally understand the kid thing - though at 7 and 9, mine are not quite as little or cute - and they sure aren’t welcome in the matrimonial bed! Lol! On the other hand, I only started playing goal about 3 years ago, and recently (read: indulgently... or even needlessly? Foolishly...?) bought custom pro pads that I haven’t played in since 13 March 2020. But one thing that occurred to me in all of this, for you, for me, the other goalies here - and even non-goalies and non-hockey players: nobody is at their best, nobody is in their normal state, and nobody had the playbook for how to handle this pandemic. To my mind, it therefore follows that thoughts and feelings about this may seem foreign and different, but that is reflecting the abnormal context that everything must necessarily be taken in for the last year or so. That said, I doubt that these same thoughts and feelings should be the bedrock of big decisions about the little (or indeed very large and important) things like playing hockey. 
 

Glad to see in your subsequent posts that you’re probably not quitting completely- but let the record show my vote for “don’t hang them up yet, SBR!”

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