Today, rookie Chris Tran talks us through his international journey of Mighty Ducks, rulers-and-erasers-hockey and finally to the Icehouse. (Next up is Alex McNab with a sure-fire traffic generator as she talks about girls in the hockey changing room …)
By Chris Tran
Where it all began…
Where does my story begin? I’d like to say I grew up in Canada watching my dad play in the minors, learning to skate on the frozen pond behind our house and playing street hockey with the kids in the neighbourhood. None of that is true, of course. Actually, dad lived in Canada for a while in the 80’s after the Vietnam War and he was a semi-pro table tennis player, only to perpetuate the Asian stereotype.
I was born and raised in Melbourne and like a lot of 80’s and 90’s kids, my first exposure to the beautiful game was through the Mighty Ducks Trilogywhich I watched religiously during my childhood (and in my late teens when I rediscovered them).
Once our eyes were sore from staring at the TV screen for so long, my little brother and I would play a little one-on-one. Now our family came from humble beginnings; we couldn’t afford rollerblades or hockey sticks so we had to make do with wooden rulers and used erasers as pucks. None of that really mattered to us though and we played till our backs wore out – as it turned out, 30cm rulers were too short even for us so our games didn’t last very long.
Eventually I grew out of this phase (most likely due to someone taping over our copy of D2 with a double episode of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman). AFL and the FIFA World Cup took over and it wasn’t until 2009 that I found the sacred trilogy on DVD and rekindled my love for the game…
February 23, 2010 and beyond!
I don’t think I will ever forget this day; my first skate at the Icehouse. I had skated once before when I was 8 years old at the Edmonton Mall ice rink in Canada. Twelve years later I was hoping to pick up where I left off, secretly wishing that once I set foot on the ice I would manifest into some sort of ice skating prodigy. This…unfortunately didn’t happen.
After falling for about an hour, I realised my rentals were two sizes too big; the scars those blisters left on my ankle are there to remind me that I’m actually a size 6. Despite being battered and bruised with bloody blisters all over my ankles, I knew this was the sport for me.
Since then, there have been four terms of hockey school, torturous bag skate drills, concussion scares and long double shifts in the d-zone but nothing else has changed…The feeling of liberation and the ice cold air that hits my face when racing from end to end and the sound of the blades carving against the ice is satiating after every stride; there’s nothing else like it.
Man, I love this game!