Why hockey? I love the fact that it’s really aggressive and rough. I love that I get to hit people. Plus, it makes my buns hard.
How did you get started? I signed up for a kids “skating for hockey” clinic at Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex. I was the only adult in the class. At 5’1”, I was the tallest one there. Then I was the only woman on a co-ed team on Sunday nights. The guys were great. They would consistently pass me the puck, even though I would consistently miss it.
Now you play with a women’s travel team. The Gulf Coast Ms Conduct. We practice twice a month, 10:15 until 11:30 p.m., because the ice is cheaper then. We have weekend tournaments once a month, September through February, all over the state. It reminds me of playing sports in college, the competition and the camaraderie; you flashback to a time when you didn’t have to think about anything but trying to win.
Benefits? It’s a good full-body workout, and it really helps your balance, which is important when you’re my age. Most of all, it’s so relaxing. From when I pack my gear until I get home afterwards, I’m not thinking about work. All I have to think about is putting the puck in the net. It’s my hockey retreat.
How can other professionals get involved? Go to a public skate in Ellenton to try it out, or ask them about their learn-to-skate classes. Women can come to a Ms Conduct clinic—the first one’s free, and they have gear you can borrow. The gear’s pretty expensive, so I recommend the first time, buy used.
Tips? Get Aflac. My very first clinic, I chipped my tooth. I’ve broken my finger. Playing with the men, I kept getting whiplash. Still, I love it.