It’s a lifestyle, really. The whole hockey thing. The ‘Rink Life‘. It’s not limited to the player. It wraps it’s arms around the whole family and takes them along for the skate. It possesses you, and there is no real exorcism. It’s like the mob. Once you join the family, there ain’t no gettin’ out. But that’s all a theory, of course. Because as far as I know, nobody has ever actually looked for the exit door.
When my son was living at home, he would take his little 7-year-old cousin to the rink to skate. Roller rink or ice, it didn’t matter. As long as the little guy could wear his skates and a helmet like his big cousin. Every little boy needs to find something he loves. Sports, camping, skateboarding, art, it doesn’t matter. But somehow I knew that this little guy had been exposed to an irresistible force. That he really would have no choice from this point on. He would play hockey.
He started playing organized hockey this year. He’s decided that he’ll go ahead and be the next great goalie. He spent a season on a developmental team and was immediately picked up by the travel program. I knew at that moment that my brother’s life was about to change. He was about to embark on the journey. He was being swept up by the irresistible force. And he was destined to join his son in some of the greatest memories of their lives.
Just when I thought my ‘Rink Life’ was sadly coming to an end, with my son heading off to college this year, it has caught a second wind. It has started all over again, reborn in the hopes and dreams of this little boy. My nephew, the next great goalie.
“Rink Life’ goes on, indeed.
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