I know most of my blog post in the last few months have been about cycling but that is not all that I do to make my life adventurous and active. Way way before I owned a fancy bike I owned a field hockey stick.
I have always tried to be in some sort of sport in school starting in 3rd grade where I was cheerleader (a very short-lived life on the side lines). Next I was onto basketball, cause that is what all the cool kids were doing. In middle school I was on dance team. However all the sports I did before high school had nothing on field hockey in my book, I was instantly in love with the sport of field hockey. It might have been that I could look cute and still kick ass on the playing field or that I actually have some raw talent on the field.
If you are unfamiliar with field hockey the players wear skirts, with shorts under, a jersey, shin guards, a mouth guard, cleats, and well that is about it. In standard play you have 11 players on the field, including the goalie. I will not bore you with a lot more detail but if you have not seen a game you should at least watch this cool you tube video and try and go to a game. Louisville has a great team and they are really interesting to watch. There are a lot of rules and not a lot of protective equipment worn by players. But that is half the fun, right?
At this point you might be asking yourself, where this blog post is going? I will tell ya, for the last 9 years I have been playing field hockey on what is loving called The Old Lady League. It has been around in Louisville for years and some of the best players I’ve watched play, played with, coached (yes I coached for a brief stent), and been coached by, play every Sunday in the fall. There are 4 teams and we all play for fun and no matter what your level of play is you are welcome to play. The only requirement we have is that you are female. We tried to let the boys play but they are just way to aggressive and well we all have real lives to get back to on Monday and we don’t want to go with black eyes.
The new season started last week but I couldn’t play until this week. I was super excited to play this year because I am in the best shape I have been in, in a very long time. Thank you cycling. I play defense and always have. Mainly back to the reasoning that I hate running and defense is more for sprinters and you really do not have to cross the 50 yard line all that much. Don’t get me wrong you still run a lot just not as much as a mid or a forward.
I take my place on the field, ready to go and excited. And then the rain starts. My thought on this was, bring it on (hey it is cross season right, what is a little rain)? We play for 60 mins with a 5 min halftime. We do not play as fast as they do at the collegiate level, nor do we always have refs, but we play.
We did play a full game (even with the rain) and well my team lost but we were also playing 7 on 10 so we were down a few players. You can play with up to 11 on the field but have to have a least 7. The important thing is we played hard and we played well. Most of us have not played together before, we do not practice but some how we figure it out. We also had FUN! We laughed at each other as we miss the ball or hit it short, or well anything really. We tell each other no matter the team good job on the block, or nice goal, or damn you are fast. As we get closer to the end you hear a few more damn-its on the field, but that is okay we know we are still out there trying.
We play for the love of the game no matter what team we play on. We do it to hold on to a sport we love. We do it to prove to ourselves we still can.
I heard one of my teammates sum it up well, she said this is my thing, my release, what I do for me and I need it. I feel the same way. When I bought my house my family and I worked on it non stop on the weekend with the one condition that I would leave for a little over an hour to play. This was best for everyone’s sanity. I need the feeling (and still do) that I get on the field. Win or lose I have fun. Bad day or good day the field makes it all better. Proven to me this past Sunday where I just need an hour to think of nothing but the game I was playing.
I am a little sore in the legs, but nothing like years before (thank you, again cycling) and a lot sore in the back, something new. I really hope that my back does not keep me from playing because now more than ever I really think I need my Sunday Old Lady Field Hockey League.
Have you played field hockey before? Do you want to play again? We are always looking for new players and would love to see some new faces. Let me know if you would like more info on it.