Weekend Hockey Report
I'm struggling with returning to co-ed play. It seems that since I've gotten a bit better recently (faster, smarter about my moves and even stick-handling better) I've become a bit of a target to the other teams. This means that I get pushed around (yes, I push back) a lot more and that the guys are less inclined to hold back just because I'm female. The good news (I think) is that I'm still not getting many penalties for this. The bad news is that I'm really letting it get to me, like it just doesn't quite connect that in some ways, these guys finally see me as an equal threat to the other guys out there. (Is that a good thing?)
So yesterday, I played hard on the crappiest ice ever, fought for every puck and more often than not, came up victorious. Of that, I am proud. We won, 3-2, I'm proud of that too. But what I'm not proud of is how much I let this one asshole get to me. We were tousling a little all game, nothing serious until the last minute or so. They were trying desperately to tie the game up and we were trying desperately not to let them. I was down low with Mr. Mentally Unstable who is New to Hockey and doesn't quite grasp some of the more subtle things that go on.
Like my favorite move: when I feel an opponent's stick up around my waist, you bet your ass I'm going to reach out and hang on to it. If you're dumb enough to hold it up that high that close to me, well, duh. Don't do that. But Mr. Mentally Unstable did, not doing what most people do, which is to start to skate away. At that point, I'll let go since my dirty little trick becomes obvious enough to get a call. But this guy just stood there like a moron, shaking the thing and shouting, no doubt getting seriously pissed off that a 'girl' was keeping him from moving. Finally, he wrestled the thing away from me (his version) or I let go (my version) and his stick flew up and hit me in the head, which pissed me off.
What did I do next? The dumbest, most dangerous thing I've ever done in a hockey game. I hit him over the head with my stick. I know, I know, that was DUMB. Kids, do NOT try this at home! He did not take kindly to this and turned around, faced me, then slammed me full force into my own net (I would like to note that I did not fall down!). He came up swinging so I asked if he wanted to fight me. Over and over, he said "YOU HELD MY STICK!!" as if that makes hitting me in the head, then starting a fight okay, or even necessary.
There's a code of conduct that usually dictates that the guys do not fight the women, but apparently my skills have reached the point where that code is now void. I need to remember to stay focused on the next play and not let these assholes get to me. I also need to NEVER retaliate like that again. Getting the puck and making a good play immediately afterwards is a much better choice.
After the game, he called me a crazy bitch when we were shaking hands (I did not shake his) so I went up to him again and said hey, let's let it go okay? To which he replied "YOU HELD MY STICK!!" Um, yes, I know that.
This time, I got the last word in. My reply?
Honey, it's just hockey. And I skated away, another A-Team win in my pocket.