What have you learned in 2011? I learned to play hockey!

  • iceman82

    Posts: 76

    Dec 05, 2011 5:00 AM GMT
    Hi all, I have apparently been a member of this site for years but never realised how lively the forums were until recently!

    I started 2011 in a bit of a rut: I had been through a rough breakup, a rapid succession of different jobs and the looming spectre of turning thirty and (unjustly) feeling that I hadn't accomplished much. I looked back at 2010 and realised that apart from a few high points, I was ending the year in pretty much the same state of mind that I started it, without having learned much along the way. Then, the death of a friend and mentor from cancer in January hit me with the truth that you can never get back the time you have wasted, and that there's no better time to improve yourself than right now.

    So, I set myself some goals, most notably resolving that by the end of 2011, I'd be able to do something that I wasn't able to do before. I was never much of an athletic type growing up (music and science nerd!), and I had spent much of the last 10 years bemoaning the fact that I had never really played any team sports, and that it was probably too late to start. But with my new found determination, I set myself a challenge: by the end of the year I would be playing hockey.

    I already knew a few guys on the local gay hockey team, and I figured that would be a great way into the sport, since they are open to complete beginners and have a strong social organisation as well. I went along to one of their practices with some borrowed gear and discovered that not only was I not as inept as I imagined, but that it was a whole lot of fun, and a great workout to boot.

    Now hockey isn't exactly a cheap sport to play, but I took a risk and bought some equipment, and signed up for power skating lessons. It's amazing how far a good instructor can take you, with the right combination of encouragement and prodding, and I slowly built up my confidence on the ice. When I completely failed to catch on to how to skate backwards during one of the classes, I took myself to a local public skating session and at the end of an hour and the cost of a few bruises, I was able to do a slow lap of the rink backwards. It was the same with learning how to stop, despite the little voices telling me that I was just not cut out for skating, and that I was just too uncoordinated, I persevered and managed to figure it out, although I still have some spectacular bails when I try to stop at high speed. But that's what the pads and boards are for, right?

    Cut to December, and I'm now playing on the gay "C" team, with one assist on the scoreboard and a few oh-so-close scoring chances that will spur me on to goals. I'm getting better every time I step out on the ice, and have discovered a new passion, one that involves hard exercise, good people and so many physical and mental rewards. I think I have earned the right to feel a bit proud of myself!

    So... that's my story. What have you learned in 2011? And what do you want to learn in 2012?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 05, 2011 5:02 AM GMT
    I learned that learning new stuff is boring, so i set out on a research project to figure out how to stop learning stuff.