I've always been indifferent about sports. I once fell asleep at a major league baseball game. Zonked right out. That was money well-spent! Before I got together with my husband, I dated two different football players and never once went to watch them play. I also missed my wrestler's matches. I. Did. Not. Care. I found sports very boring.
Then I saw my first hockey game. Wow. Fast, exciting, action-packed, and incredibly graceful, I was hooked. It didn't hurt that I went to a big hockey school. We always dominated in our division. When we made the play-offs, I was right there on the buses with my friends, heading to the pro's arena for the big games. I could scream myself hoarse. What I couldn't always do was remain in my seat.
My husband played hockey. He was on skates wearing a hockey jersey, pads, and breezers by age three. I have a picture of him. It's one of my favorites. So cute. He was playing hockey when we met and coaching little mites. He took me to the outdoor rink near his house when we were dating and skated circles around me. Okay, I admit it, I'm not great on skates. I loved watching his feet, seeing how he'd switch 'em up, turn on a dime, breeze through those tight circles, and get all sexy skating backwards as I tried to keep up just going forward. Talk about an aphrodisiac. His lazy smile didn't hurt, either.
He liked hockey for the same reasons I did. He thought it was graceful, too. There's elegance in hockey. Yes, some people enjoy the rough stuff. Those checks into the boards, the tangles that send these big guys sprawling and spinning on their stomachs across the ice can get your blood pumping, but I'm not there for that. I don't want to see fights break out. I like to see the teamwork. Two or three guys handling the puck, controlling their charge up the ice, passing it smoothly back and forth before a shot on goal opens up for one of them. It's a gorgeous version of keep away.
Our kids just treated us to a night of pro hockey on Thursday. I was in seventh heaven. It didn't hurt that we won, but I was already grinning just walking around the arena before the game. I was thinking about getting myself a team jersey -- name on the back to be determined by who wowed me that night. My heart was pounding when the referees took the ice and sped around in formation. Then the two teams came out and they had my undivided attention. That's saying something.
Maybe I should write a hockey romance. A sexy hockey romance. Not a bad idea. I'll have to give it some thought.
- Tara Mills