06 January 2012

Hockey as Therapy

Sounds hokey right?  Hockey as therapy?  It makes sense, sort of, at least for me.  For a very long time I spent every waking hour living and breathing my job as a firefighter.  I loved it, and so therefore I lived it. Not long before I met my wonderful husband, I started to doubt my career path alittle.  I was working two firefighting jobs, one full-time and one part-time, and though the part-time set up was mostly a dream for me, the full-time set up was a nightmare that unfolded every shift at the feet of an abusive captain.  Lots went on the last two years, but I continued to cling to the love of a job that didnt love me.  I truly enjoyed the shock factor when I told people what I did for a living.  I loved helping people.  I loved driving the "big red trucks".  I loved the idea that I was one of just a handful of women in that line of work and one of an even fewer number of women that was Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF).  I fought tooth and nail to qualify for the job, and then had to fight like crazy to keep it.

Despite the tough two years at the end, I still lived and breathed the job.  Then it all came to an abrupt end. The part-time job fizzled out soon after the full-time job was over too.  My heart was broken.  After my last day at the airport, I never went back. It would be too painful, I reasoned, to stand again among those trucks. Then I got a job offer to be an assistant to a young man with autism.  Now I loved the kids, I loved working with this young man, but again I became the target of a bully.  Other people saw it and were apalled.  I kept my mouth shut and my head down (as my dad suggested) and finished out the semester.  I had nothing to occupy my time.  We knew by this point that mom had terminal cancer.  This was the Thanksgiving news right after I lost my job. We thought we had some time. Sometime in March, as mom's treatment was going good, and I was crying on the way to work most days, my hubby and I decided to go to a hockey game. 

The team was new in town, as in it was the first season, and though we had planned on going for months, so many things had taken our time.  Mainly going to see momma as much as we could. Saint Patrick's Day weekend we went. Then later that month we went again, and even more games at the playoffs.  I was hooked.  We started saving for season tickets about the same time we found out mom had only a few short weeks to live.  All our extra income (like we had much to start with) went to fuel and food as we drove to the hospital and then hospice every day to see her.  Once it was known at work my mom was dying, so many people were so supportive.  One exception comes to mind, but I out lasted her.  

Soon it was over.  Hockey was over for the season, and about eight weeks after that we buried my mom. We scrimped and saved to afford tickets.  And just before the preseason started, we bought two of the "okay" seats.  It gave me something to work towards.  It gave me something to look forward to.  I wasn't looking forward to the holidays, I didnt have a job to look forward to, all I had was the time my hubby and I have a couple times a week. 

My need to be "obsessed" with something was filled as my mind began to collect hockey data. So now rather than pestering people with firefighting nonsense, its hockey.  ECHL southern division hockey to be exact.  I understand it better than football, and its so action packed.  Oh and then there are the fights.  Maybe I fantisize too much about wishing I could "drop the gloves" or "shoulder check into the boards" some of the tyrants that have haunted my life.  None the less, I hockey has saved the earthly being that is me.  (my soul, now that belongs to Jesus, but that is a totally different deal)

So I look at the calendar and see its a week before I get to go to another game.  Oh I cant wait!!

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