I may not be able to do a smooth crossover, and I can't skate backward well, but I'm an official hockey player! Look at me drinking a beer with my sweaty teammates at CUBS' AC. There I am getting my skates sharpened at Play It Again Sports. Here I am checking out a book on "How to Play Like the Pros" at the library. And that's me on the couch watching the NHL playoffs. Soon, my fan base expands from my family to some neighbors who come to watch a game.
And then, a month into the season, during an 11 p.m. game, I score my first goal. Jenny passes to me, and in slow motion I sink it into the net--and then fall backward over the goalie. When I look up, three of my teammates are pumping their fists in the air. In MACRHL, one's first goal is celebrated, and the game puck is autographed by teammates with a Sharpie. It's now on my dresser next to my two balls.
My husband is mostly silent about my newest venture, but he does notice one thing: the Advil is disappearing quickly from the medicine cabinet. When my doctor notices some black-and-blue marks during a routine checkup, I assure her I'm a hockey player and it comes with the job--the pads don't cover everything. She asks about joining, and I jot down the contact info for the league.