Monday, April 09, 2007

Writing and Hockey

People don't understand hockey.

Growing up in Montreal, when there was an evening game scheduled, the city came to life. In Montreal, hockey is culture. People in the red seats in the old Forum, the good seats, were couples, ladies dressed in fine Montreal style. Fans, both men and women, Montreal's elite, had season's tickets. The Montreal Canadiens played a game of finesse, and speed, and timing. Does the name Guy Lafleur ring a bell?

One day, when I was nineteen or so, a girlfriend and I decided we wanted season's tickets. When I called the Forum box office, I was told there was a six year waiting list. My name is on that list somewhere - I haven't heard back yet.

I've recently been involved in a new program for women's hockey in my town south of Boston: people who never before have tried the game. Women who came had a range of skills. One played field hockey - she can stick handle. A couple were figure skaters - those two can skate well. It was a mish mosh those first few weeks: sticks borrowed from a son, a daughter's helmet, and too-tight shorts. There was a lot of falling. Not much passing.

But every Friday, I see my new friends improve - big time. Johanna gets faster each week, Julie has found a consistent way to get the puck in the net, Meghan seems to know where to position herself. Many others are quickly gaining skills.

At times I attend writing courses, I read a beginning writer's work. I see their flaws, rather quickly, but with the right attitude, I know they will improve. Writing is hockey. Slower, not more cerebral, and less good for the cardio. But writing is work, hockey is work. Both are fun. Real fun!


Judy Merrill Larsen said...

NIce analogy--especially on days like today when I feel like I keep getting knocked into the boards. I know I need to pull myself up and push through and get out there and skate--but I keep tripping over my words.

Larramie said...

This is an even better analongy for me as I look out the window at 5 inches of snow, not melting yet. It's beautiful, though, as is learning to enjoy the journey in whatever you're doing. ;o)