"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.
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.