Two Seasons: Growing & Hockey: Fall Veggie Share Week #2 – 11/1/23

 In CSA Newsletter

Two Seasons: Growing & Hockey

Two years ago, I started playing hockey. A friend of mine told me about a gay hockey league in Madison (it’s actually the world’s largest) where adults who’ve never played the game (or skated for that matter) can learn how to play. 

I was instantly hooked. 

At first it was the feeling of gliding on the ice, the awesome workout, and the challenge of it all. Plus there was the added bonus that it’s a contact sport played a) with pads and b) in winter so that my likelihood of injury is less, and , should I get injured, my recovery time much longer before it would interfere with farming demands on my body.  

Over the last couple of years, hockey has come to mean much more to me than just an interesting way to keep in shape in the winter. 

Hockey is place where my mind is quiet (it’s noisy up there most of the time). From the moment I walk into the rink until the moment I leave, I don’t think about anything else but what’s right in front of me. No work, no kids, no stress.  My mind is entirely focused on the puck, positioning, and moving fast. Cheering folks on, the sounds of blades on ice, the stomping of sticks when the goalie makes a save, and the sound of my own heaving chest when I catch my breath on the bench – this soundtrack keeps me entirely engaged. I’m entirely in the moment, and I love it. 

Hockey has also become a place of community for me. The Madison Gay Hockey League is open and welcoming – always. As I’m entering my 3rd year in the league, I am beginning to know lots of the players in my division. I genuinely enjoy seeing them every Sunday night. As a league we are committed to it being fun and giving space for people to learn. That means that if you are up against a player that’s not as skilled, you back off a little and let them have a chance before you just take the puck from them. It’s really quite an incredible model for a rec league, and it engenders such a sense of joy and connection amongst us all as players. 

I love hockey so much that I’m now involved with 3 different leagues. During this winter season, I will play hockey 3-4 times per week. I couldn’t be happier about it. 

Just this Monday, I began my first day of playing with an adult practice/scrimmage league. (They gave me a special farmer exception to be able to play from November-March only.) A woman asked me if I was going to be coming weekly, and I happily said, “Yes! Looks like I have two seasons in my life: the growing season and hockey season.”

Welcome, hockey season. 

Enjoy your veggies!