This is Hockey, Man!

A 2 minute read written by carson January 22, 2013

Carson hockey player

When I came to work at Yellow Pencil, one of the benefits offered to me was the possibility of joining the company hockey team. It was a nice thought, but as a 39-year-old fat guy whose only experience was a few games as a really bad goalie in junior high, I didn’t really consider it seriously. Not to sound dramatic about it, but I basically viewed it as one of those dreams that would just never be fulfilled.

Then May rolled around and the team was looking for new players for the summer season. Sarah was first to step up and say she was going to give it a shot. Kevin was in, too. And then Ceda - who had never laced up a pair of skates in his life - said he also wanted to play. I was still hesitant, but our team captain, Terry, emphasized that the team was for anyone who wanted to play, regardless of skill level. OK - let’s do this.

Pro Hockey Life made some good money that week, as none of us had any equipment. We basically walked in and said, “give me everything”. I didn’t even have proper skates. I tried to be all cool about it, but I was sure to pay a little extra for the right coloured helmet and yellow hockey tape.

We had one 1-hour practice and then on May 16, 2012, I stepped onto the ice for the first time as a Yellow Pencil. I have never been so proud to wear a uniform before; never so thankful for the opportunity to do something I didn’t think I’d ever have the chance to do. This isn’t just playing a sport; this isn’t soccer. This is HOCKEY. This is the game I had followed religiously since I was eight. The game I couldn’t afford to play as a kid. The game that I loved more than any other. HOCKEY, MAN!

Well, I was thoroughly terrible and we lost 6-1 to The Bears. It was the greatest loss of my life. Since then I have played in 30 games. I’ve scored a total of two flukey goals, been credited with three assists and sat in the penalty box more than once. We’ve lost a lot more games than we’ve won and I’ve cherished every single one. Tonight we play The Bears again and I can’t wait.

As much as I love playing the game, though, this has become something much bigger than just hockey. It has been my main motivator to get into shape. I’m still a little flabby, but I’ve lost over 20 pounds since I started. (Full disclosure: one of the other perks of working at Yellow Pencil is a paid gym membership, which I’ve also taken advantage of.) I’m healthier than I’ve been in a long time, which pays dividends in so many ways.

Even more important has been the time in the dressing room before and after the games. This is where we complain about that one jerk on the other team (you know the one); this is where we bond. It’s here where I’ve formed great friendships with Paul and Dave and Lori and Sarah and Ceda and Kevin and Terry and Jon. These are my teammates on the ice and at the office and they’re the best.

So I guess this is my chance to say a big public thank you to Yellow Pencil for giving me the chance to play hockey. It’s mentioned almost as an afterthought in the list of perks of working here, but it’s anything but. It’s been absolutely huge for me and just another reason I love my job.