The bottom of the bag

My hockey bag got wet late last week when unexpected rain swept in as I was drying my stuff, post Dev League. (Hard to imagine as it’s going to be 36 degrees today but … well … gotta love Melbourne.)

I took the opportunity to empty the whole thing out for the first time in a while. I bought a new hockey bag when we went to America in 2011 but I actually later reverted back to my original bag – one of those big non-wheel sack bags that you can just throw endless stuff into. Which I have continued to do, until now.

This then is the horror to be found if you dig all the way to the bottom of a hockey bag.

What rattles around, below the gear ...

What rattles around, below the gear …

The coins are very manky, and I’m not sure I’ll eat what’s left of the chocolate bar. I haven’t dared to look in the plastic bag yet. There are a lot of unused pain-killer drugs, which is a plus.

And yes, kids, carry deodorant. At all times.

Meanwhile, this is post number 200 of Nick Does Hockey. Close to 200,000 words of hockey ramblings over several years. Who would have thought, given I started Post One by genuinely wondering if I would last more than a week in this adventure.

I did. And I now play for actual teams. And have so so so many hockey friends that I had not met way back then in January 2011.

As I head towards 2014 and my third anniversary as a hockey player, I’m finally charging off the injuries that have dogged me all year and feeling fit. Hopefully Big Cat Place is also getting over a broken ankle and will resume when the Braves skate back onto the ice in February.I’m not sure Mackquist is coming back, post Year 12, but maybe we’ll just go for the occasional skate, and scuba dive together?

Warming up, for the Braves.  Pic: Luke Milkovic

Warming up, for the Braves.
Pic: Luke Milkovic

I’d like to take this bicentenary post to thank everybody who has been part of this adventure so far, laughing and sweating and skating and battling on the boards and occasionally fighting, off the ice and on (yes, Donogoon, that means you). For the probably hundreds of players who I’ve shared change-rooms with, swapping shit and telling stories, I say thanks to you all.

I probably won’t blog as often in the new year, just because, well, I kind of play hockey now, more or less, even if my outside edges, backward crossovers and wrong-side crossovers still suck. It’s not exactly Mission Accomplished but I have definitely shifted from the first time blogger who was wondering if it was possible in your mid-40s to even learn how to ice skate, let alone hold a stick and chase a puck.

There’s only so much anybody wants to read about endless dev league sessions or summer league trainings or games. I started this blog as a personal diary of my hockey journey and it’s mostly stayed that way, and I don’t want to chart every training session, either. So we’ll see how we go in 2014, on the ice and in the blogosphere.

Skate well, hockey fans. Happy Christmas if I don’t post again between now and then.

Happy bicentenary.

Nicko

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