Never Stop Skating

April 21, 2018

hockeyshow podcast

Never Stop Skating - Directed by Lane Ditore

  Some more information on my back story I talked about in this video.  If you haven't been listening to our show for long, we've talked about how some of our guys have been playing Hockey since birth while others of us didn't start playing until later in life.  As mentioned in this video, for me it was the latter.  I grew up thinking I was going to be a baseball player.  My dad was a ball player, and I trained for baseball most days after school as a kid.  Like most american boys, baseball was a way of life.  Maybe it was because of my fathers influence, but I took it slightly more serious than most.  And I did well with it.  In this video I mention that I've been playing hockey for about 6 years.  What that really means is "organized hockey"  Hockey to me was something to do when the ponds were frozen and you'd lose a baseball in the snow too easily. I grew up with Ray Bourque, and Cam Neely, Mike Modano and Brett Hull.  I loved watching hockey but never took playing very seriously, because... well because baseball was life.

   When I was a teenager I had a paper route. This wasn't a typical 15-25 house, every day route, it was something like 300-400 houses once a week.  So my mother took gas money out of my check and I rolled, bagged and threw papers at houses from her 1988 Plymouth Voyager before baseball games on Saturday.  One day while trying to break down doors with paper throws... I was run over by a car during my route.  We don't have to get into details about the accident... like who it was that ran me over.  HI MOM!  Afterwards I remember being on the sidewalk on my back with the paramedics with their funny angled scissors cutting off my shoes and pants and socks.  Meanwhile I was telling them I was fine... I wasn't going to the hospital...  It was my turn in the rotation that night... I was starting in a few hours!!  I remember a police officer looking down at me with this look of.... "yea right kid"

  Long story short... I never played organized baseball again.  It was about a year in casts and metal walking boots, and air casts.  Any long trips I had to go on I was in a wheel chair because I couldn't get around easily.  After about a year I was ready to get back into it.  I started working out again and while doing suicides I rolled an ankle and ended up back in an air cast for awhile and that was about it.  

  As I got older I got into other interests.  Playing music and going to art school.  But I always wanted to get back to... being on a team, and competing.  All the while I found myself paying more and more attention to Hockey.  So I started messing with some of the street hockey stuff I had,  But it was still just for fun... it hadn't become serious to me because all I could think about was getting the chance to prove I could still hit and throw a ball as well as anyone.  As it turned out I had one more shot at baseball. I was invited to a high level amateur baseball league tryout, and was entirely focused on getting back to playing baseball.  I was by far the oldest there, but I did well.. I wasn't the best there, but I wasn't the worst either.  But they asked me about where I had played in the past and I had to tell them story I just told you, with a bit more detail into the injury.  Needless to say... they never called me back to the team.

  At this time I had a friend from high school who had Boston Bruins Season tickets.  So I was going to more and more games with him. One day he asked me to come and play hockey with him.  I figured.... I wasn't going to play old man slow pitch softball... so lets go try this hockey thing.  And it clicked, I got obsessed with playing the same way I was obsessed with watching it.  Ever since I've been shooting pucks in the driveway, skating any chance I can find open ice, playing rec hockey, even working as a Referee.  I even built my own 8ft slide board for the house.  Now I'm in my early 30's and I can't think of anything else other than lacing them up and getting better every day.  I've become completely addicted in the last 6 or so years.  I have moments while falling asleep thinking about the motion and feeling of cutting a hard edge at high speed on the ice. Or visualizing finally completing that move I've tried 5 times and failed.  It's given me new challenges and new athletic life, and if anyone reading this has wanted to try but you think you are too old....  Go buy yourself a pair of skates, You'll thank me later.

-Nick @ The Hockey Show

P.S. I finally broke down and I play softball on the weekends as well.... Fast pitch of course