Monday, January 18, 2016

Skating and getting old

THE OTHER NIGHT we bumped into Cory Stegeman, one of my ice skating pals. Cory and his buddies always invite me to pickup games and we used to have a blast skating at the Niemann family farm pond off of South 24th Street.

Cory told us about playing in a 3-on-3 hockey tournament down in St. Louis. Gosh, did it sound like fun. Then I realized I'm old and I probably wouldn't be able to hang with those young guys anymore.

I miss those days on South 24th Street ....
This makes me think of Tony Byers, the former hockey coach in Alpena, Michigan. When I was the sports editor at The Alpena News in the early 1990s, Tony and I played on the same men's league team. He could still skate circles around players half his age.

He didn't think a thing about it. I don't know if I've met a more competitive and driven man and coach in my life. There's a reason Alpena was a hockey powerhouse in those years - they had great players and great coaches, and a community behind them.

Just thinking about those days gets me fired up and longing to get back on the ice.

It's about minus forever in Quincy and I'm sure there are good places to skate right now. We have a limited window for ice skating and I used to ignore the cold and snow if there was ice or a game being organized. It will be 45 degrees by this time next week and the ice will be gone.

I thought about it yesterday as Sheryl and I hunkered down and binge-watched "Nurse Jackie" on Netflix. Should I go out and brave the wind chills and see if there was ice? Or should I stay home and warm under a blanket with a cup of coffee and see if Jackie's life could unravel any further?

Yup, Home 1, Skating 0. BTW, Nurse Jackie is amazing.

Getting old sucks.

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