Today is a very exciting day. In a matter of hours I will be lacing up my skates and playing some ice hockey for the first time in several years.
As big as the San Jose Sharks are out here in Silicon Valley, there aren’t very many rinks, and ice time can be very expensive. However, after two years living in California, I just learned about a local rink that’s not too far from me. It’s just been hiding in a shopping mall this whole time. California is weird.
It seems so long ago, but hockey used to be a pretty big part of me life. If you know where to look, you can still find some tidbits from my glory days on the internet. I believe I started playing when I was four or five. From what I recall at that age, gravity is typically a greater opponent than the team you’re playing. Eventually things gravitated to travel teams, Thanksgiving weekend tournaments, and State championships.
I can still vividly remember my very last game of organized hockey. It was a sectional tournament game in the frozen tundra of Pulaski, NY. Halfway through the 2nd period my left shoulder dislocated. This was a pretty common occurrence for me; I think at that point it had probably dislocated close to 40 times in a span of two or three years. Usually I could get it back in the socket within 10 minutes. However this time it didn’t want to go back in. It started swelling up to the point that my body started going into some form of shock and I could hardly stand on my feet.
It quickly became obvious that I needed to get to a hospital to get my shoulder back in the socket. Still struggling to stand up, I managed to make it outside to my parent’s minivan where we drove through a total lake effect white-out to get to some sort of medical center in the middle of nowhere. After an hour or two of waiting and x-rays, a doctor and a nurse struggled with it for about another hour. But alas, no luck. My swollen shoulder had defeated two medical professionals.
It must have been a slow day in this medical center because eventually the entire medical staff was in the room. I think three or four staff members were holding me down while a doctor was yanking and twisting on my arm. Suddenly it just popped back in place. Greatest feeling in the world, hands down. My shoulder may have been victorious over two medical professionals, but it was no match for a whole room full of them!
A month later I had reconstructive surgery on my shoulder and lost use of my arm for 6 weeks.
In conclusion, I can’t wait to get back on the ice tonight!