Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Boots.

See, I have these boots.

I had never worn the boots, despite being 6 years old, and the boots became the crux of many a joke over the years.

This is a blog about the boots.

I'm going to go full Sophia Patrillo here - "Picture it, St. John's, 2012..."

Our varsity cross country team is about the head to Halifax for the AUS Championships. It just so happens we are going to fly back home the night of Mardi Gras and, given we were clearly going to kick ass, we were going downtown to celebrate. Our flight would get in at 10 pm.

I needed a costume. I settled on Catwoman. Now, not just ANY Catwoman, Halle Berry Catwoman.


I went to a million places and found every piece of the costume, right down to the belts, the headwear, everything -

But I could never find the right boots.

Finally, a friend said, "Try a sex store."

Sure, why not? I walked in, strolled nonchalantly past the anal beads, and told the clerk what I was looking for. He delivered.

"Why have the boots never been worn?" you ask.

Fast forward to AUS. We have to get to the airport so we all put our costumes on beforehand. Mine is a tad revealing so I put a hoodie over it though I did get weird looks in a hoodie, those pants and the boots. I stopped counting how many times Nick would look at someone who was giving me strange glances and say, "She's a dominatrix." I dealt out many a punch that night.

When it is time to go through security, they tell me I need to take off my coat. I lean in and, with a whisper, explain that I'm wearing a costume that isn't family friendly and no kids need to see the Itty Bitty Titty Committee here strapped up in leather and spikes. 

"Ma'am, you still need to take off the coat."

Here I am, in all of my glory - tired, cranky, thirsty and standing in an airport looking like the security guy just paid good money for an old fashioned flogging. 

AND THE ALARM KEPT GOING OFF.

I swear I walked back out and in about 576 times (okay, maybe an exaggeration, but still...) until they finally did a body scan as I was about to cry and wondering what else I would have to take off.

GET ME TO MARDI GRAS.

The plane takes off and the night is young, the weather is great, the team is pumped. We watch the map and our little plane logo circling over St. John's.

Then it starts to go back.

We ask the attendant who will not tell us what is going on and, until we were on the ground again, IN HALIFAX, did they tell us it had been too foggy to land. We are all checking our watches and thinking at least we'll get to rock Halloween somewhere in Halifax that night.

Nope.

"We're heading back to St. John's."

You have never seen Catwoman, a wizard, Jesus, a cowboy, two cowgirls and Batman so pissed off.

So, why have I never worn the boots? We landed at 6 am, missed Mardi Gras, and I spent a lifetime sitting on a plane wearing more pleather, studs and chains than I am comfortable with.

Last night I wore the boots and now you know their story. I'll probably never wear them again but hey, I can tick the box on "owns a pair of boots from a sex store."




Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Lonely End of the Rink...

In April 2017 I was getting on a plane. I remember opening CBC, as I do each morning, and reading an article about a woman who had started a Sunday afternoon skate for a group of women who wanted to play hockey.

"I think I want to play again."

I had not put on skates in 20 years, but at that moment something went off in my head and told me I had to.

I emailed Liz Ohle.

"Liz, I saw your article. I would love to play. I haven't played in 20 years. I don't know where to start."

That following Sunday I showed up at St. Bon's with my dad's 40 year old Cooper shin guards I had worn in high school, a Marc Andre Fleury jersey and my old hockey bag that had disfunctional zippers.

I faceplanted at least twice. Maybe three times. Maybe more.

And it was the best decision I've ever made.

I like to think everyone has that happy place. The smell of the ice, the rink, the dressing rooms.

And in the year and a bit since I decided to lace up my skates again there have been so many moments where I know hockey both saved me and broke my heart.

This weekend we said goodbye to a powerhouse. I was only lucky enough to meet Ingrid this year through Eastern edge, our Friday night senior women's league. I had always heard stories, read the history of the league, and knew what a strong proponent she was for women's hockey, the game, and fun.

Just a great person who loved life and everything in it.

And watching the steady stream of jerseys go in to the church reminded me of just what this game can do.



We laughed, we cried. And I've never felt so honoured and blessed to be a part of this group - to put on skates, gear and a jersey, drink beer and feel everything be alleviated from the day, week, month and year when I do.

Today was a very hard day. Things have not been overly great, and sometimes you feel everything is weighing down, crashing down, and the heart hurts.

Then you find yourself looking at your skates and feeling like if you could just put them on, hit the ice, it will all be better.

And it was.

I love my teams; I love the guys, the girls I play with. I love the feeling of hitting the ice, the sounds and feeling of blades cutting in, and going until you feel your lungs and legs are going to give out (penumonia be damned).

I love this sport, I love the people, and I love what it has given me, and continues to give me.

I'm so thankful I emailed Liz. Take the chance, do the thing.

And I know I have some of the best friends I'll ever have in my life to take me through, even at the lonely end of the rink.