Posts Tagged ‘coaching’

A Sad Sad Week

March 22, 2010

Last week was perhaps the saddest week of our lives.  We took our 13 year old son to the neuro surgeon to have a consultation and testing regarding his multiple concussions.  This is the son who went to New York and won the fastest skater in the USA out of 1,800 boys his age.  He has played ice hockey since he was six years old.  When he’s not on the ice, he’s on eBay looking at equipment to buy, playing mini-sticks in the loft or in our cul-de-sac playing street hockey.

You guessed it, his ice hockey career is over.  It’s simply too risky.  The doctor told us that he only clears players to play after two concussion IF they are going for a scholarship for college.  Austin has had four, maybe five, concussions and is no longer cleared to play.  We all cried for two days.  It has been his dream to play in the NHL since he wore his Edmonton Oilers diaper shirts.  Last June when Sidney Crosby held Lord Stanley’s Cup above his head, Austin said, “Well, I’ll be the second Crosby to hold it high!” 

Austin is upset but seems to be dealing with it in a fairly grown-up disappointed fashion.  He has started looking into other activities like cycling, flag football, possibly tiddly winks.  Just kidding.  He is super fast on skates so I suggested speed skating… but unfortunately he watched Apolo Ohno… and saw his uniform (read: unitard) and politely declined.  Being his mother, I recommended ping pong or golf or tennis or ribbon dancing….  but no.

My husband took it even harder than Austin did.  Rick loves hockey.  He actually has Hockey Attachment Disorder, which simply means that I’ve been H.A.D.  He has been coaching our boys’ teams for several years, but this year was really great… awesome parents, great kids, unity, FUN, and minimal drama.  I’m thankful we ended on a good note, but sad that my men are so glum. Rick always assumed that he would be coaching his boys until college…. and now it’s over.

It’s not easy being a mom when you see your son’s dream taken from him. It’s not fair.  And there’s no one to blame.  We have been encouraging Austin with the idea that he will now be discovering another sport that he could be excellent at, that he wouldn’t have known about if he continued with hockey.  This is not reassuring to him at this time, but I believe it’s true.  He is a dedicated athlete nonetheless.  I know of no other kid his age who has a self-imposed work out regime like his.  Seriously, he’s ripped at 13!

The old cliché is true once again, when God closes a door, He opens a window.  We’ll be looking through the windows for a while here.

Cruisin’ Together

December 23, 2009

OK, so I was slightly spoiled last week.  Rickey gave me an early Christmas gift and took me on a five-day cruise…. see??? Spoiled!  It was relaxing and wonderfully un-chaotic.  This Fall, with my traveling and his hockey coaching, we have not spent much quality time together.  So we decided to get away for a few days, being that he’s been saving his holidays at work for our trip to Colombia to get our little Zaza…. but that hasn’t materialized at present….. and the vacation days keep piling up.  So we used four of them.  Whooo HOoo! 

One of the ports of call, TOTALLY exotic beyond belief, was Catalina Island!  (ha ha)  Rick and I haven’t been there together for 22.5 years, as our honeymoon was the last occasion.  We were able to find the hotel that we stayed in and it literally looks exactly the same.  The little town, however, has dramatically improved and is quite charming with shops and shops and more shops.  So we went in the shops since they were plentiful. 

One of my brilliant pre-cruise plans was to dig out a little bag of white and black rocks that we picked up on the beach last time we were in Catalina… and made a backgammon game on a grocery bag. No one told us to bring games or reading material on our honeymoon.  Duh!  But I forgot to take it along.  So, being incredibly sentimental and bored once again, we once again picked up 15 white rocks and 15 black rocks and made a backgammon game on a piece of paper.  It was much more advanced this time as I used a brochure to make the lines straight.  We played many games of Acey-Ducey on this trip. 

The highlight of the cruise, however, (if you can beat a homemade backgammon game!) was Rick taking the championship medal for the on-board ping-pong challenge.  He beat several people to come out victorious and he wore his medal to dinner that night.  He made sure everyone knew that you couldn’t BUY the medals on board.  You had to WIN them.  Makes me so proud.  As we were leaving the ship, he kept pointing out people whom he had decimated at the green table. “See that guy in the blue pin-striped shirt?  I beat him.”  A few minutes later, “See the tall guy with the dreadlocks?  I beat him.”  I asked him if he wanted me to stop the line to immigration, open the luggage and find his medal so he could wear it.  He said no. Party pooper.

Thank you, Rickey, for a fun-filled week on the water.  XOXOXOXO

Black Friday Adventures

November 28, 2008


Aus has the white helmet.  Rick has the Elvis sideburns.

Yes, I was up at the crack of dawnon this fine shopping day after Thanksgiving.  The catch: the only thing I bought was an eight pack of batteries at Walmart for the camera to take pictures at Austin’s hockey tournament.  Yes, I saw the sunrise.  It’s been a while since I’ve witnessed the colorful shades of early dawn.  I’m good now for another 6 months or so.

The hockey?  You ask.  The first team we played was the Pumas from Mexico City.  Really.  They have hockey down there!  And the kids were pretty good.  Austin’s team did win 5-3 with Aus scoring one goal, but it was only a spread of one for most of the game.  The fine folks from Mexico, in case you are wondering, are just as passionate about their hockey as they are their soccer.


To make a long, agonizingly painful story short, Rick is coachingAustin’s Pee Wee Travel team because the first coach quit.  Rick L-O-V-E-S it, and that’s an understatement, much to my chagrin.  I like the game of hockey now that I’ve had 23 years of watching it and learning the rules/strategy/etc.  I love watching my boys play too.  BUT, I have a problem when the alarm goes off at 6:15 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving for a hockey game.  I’m not the hockey mom my husband dreams that I was.  (I did see a bling bling shirt at the rink that said “Hockey Taxi” that I would actually wear.)


I included these beautiful, hard to see-through-the-glass pictures to show just a glimpse of the ghetto rink that we play in.  It is so bad, it’s truly unbelievable.  And we PAY for this.  In the summer when it’s over 100 degrees outside, which is pretty much May – October, a fog forms on the ice as the players sweat.  Not only can you not see the puck at the far end of the ice surface, you can’t see the players.  I feel like the swim team from Philly in the movie Pride when the fancy team comes to their ghetto pool for a meet.  It’s half-way embarrassing. 

But look what Rick got from the Pumas:


Yes, there’s more hockey FUN tomorrow…. and EVEN on Sunday!  (……. yippy……..)