The Goals and the Beautiful: A Hockey Love Story

I broke up with hockey in early Autumn. It wasn’t me, it was it, and I spent the next few months going between missing it terribly and being furious that it left me in the first place. Didn’t it know how much it meant to me? How different my life was without it?

Sure, there were other hockeys. But they weren’t my #1. Plenty of fish in the sea, some fish even overseas, but my heart remained loyal.

In the months between the breakup and now, I heard rumblings about hockey coming back into town. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I was happy about the potential of seeing hockey again, but I was unsure of whether or not it would actually follow through on this promise. Hockey has broken my heart numerous times; I was afraid it would happen again.

And just as I’d thought, every time it was possible that hockey would come back to me, it didn’t happen. There were plenty of excuses that came with each refusal to return, and it was frustrating. By the time hockey was swearing up and down that it would return, I wasn’t buying what it was selling.

It did return, though, and I felt indifferent. Apparently, things were different this time, and they’d be better than last time. But I didn’t believe it. I should’ve been thrilled that it was back, but I was skeptical. It had been a long time since I’d last seen hockey. Would things still be the same between us?

The first weekend was rocky. Hockey offered me plenty, but I was apathetic. It had taken so long to come back to me — why should I rush back to it?

A week into our reconnection, I was starting to feel concerned that I was no longer feeling the passion I used to when I was around the sport. I’d hang around it, give it a good look, but I wasn’t feeling the connection.

Slowly, though, the passion returned, thanks to a hat trick here, a glove save there, a 6-0 start out in the Midwest. By this past Tuesday, I found myself screaming at it, telling it to just shoot the damn puck and calling it stupid quite a few times. I was pissed, which could only mean one thing…

Hockey had finally returned to me, and I had finally returned to it.

Will we live happily ever after? I’m not sure. But like many deep relationships, I can’t live with hockey, and I can’t live without it.