The Season That Was, Part 1: Regrets

I'll write a separate post that goes into more detail about what actually happened at the playoffs this weekend later; for now I need to address the depression that hit me like a heavy curtain while we were eating dinner after yesterday's game. I realized that the season was over, that there'd be no practice on Monday, that there would be no chance to improve my skills (both hockey and interpersonal) within the context of the team until September, and I suddenly had that horrible feeling I used to get the day after spending a night out drinking with friends. (Do you get that feeling? The one where you're feeling physically hungover, emotionally abandoned, and slightly worried about anything really stupid or offensive you might have done the night before? It's led to many a temporary depression for me, which is one of the reasons I don't go out drinking anymore.)

I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping ever since we came back from Hawaii nine days ago, but it was specifically these feelings of sadness and regret that kept me restless, sweaty, and wide awake last night. The short list of what I couldn't stop agonizing over:

  • How much I annoyed my teammates by screaming "LEEEEEEEEEEFT!" at the top of my fucking lungs every time I made a not-at-a-whistle line change. It's something I've been doing for years in cases where I can't lock eyes with the person who's coming on for me (and in Sunday's game, I could almost never find that person on the bench due to a couple factors—one being that the lines kept changing, and another being that the configuration of the bench made it hard to either go over the boards OR get in and out of the doors), so it was a hard habit to break anyway, but it got harder the more frustrated I got over the course of the game. I finally did break it, but by that time I think everyone had totally shunned me.
  • The fact that I couldn't adapt to right wing. I've never minded changing sides on the fly during a play, but sticking at right wing seems to be a problem for me—and everything I thought I'd learned during the last game I played at right wing did not apply here because I was playing with different linemates (and with a coach this time). Instead of just popping the puck off the boards every time as I did against the Senators, this time I actually looked in the space between me and the high slot for a breaking teammate. Not finding anyone the first time (and seeing a Phoenix player standing at a spot where I'd be more likely to pass to her than pop it past her), I tried to pass up to the neutral zone through that space in hopes that the Center or Left Wing were just farther up than I could see. I ended up passing to another Phoenix player, to my horror. The second time this happened (on the same shift), I finally spotted a teal jersey in the middle up near the blue line... and ended up passing to Laura, who plays D. She seemed very surprised, to say the least, and Billy did some yelling about "ALWAYS USE THE BOARDS! NEVER GO UP THE MIDDLE!" when I came off. So I was extremely frustrated AND extremely disappointed in myself after that one.
  • The trip south that my attitude took the more frustrated I got, and the more frustrated my teammates got with me for being such a negative Nelly.
  • Billy joking (I think) about having to stand between the two people who gave him the hardest time (me and Sionain, the latter being a mystery to both of us, judging by the look on Sionain's face when he said it) during the team photo. Gads, was I also annoying the crap out of Billy?

So in addition to being sad that there's just no Freeze hockey anymore for the next six months, I'm sadder still that I won't have an opportunity to turn things around. In the past when I've had a particularly bad pratice, especially one where I felt like I was so frustrated that I was radiating negativity at everyone else, I was always able to redeem myself at the next game or practice with a fresh attitude and a new chance for par, to use my standard golf analogy (as in, shake off the 10 on the last hole; each tee box represents a new chance for par).

There are several things that have given me cause for cheer in the past 24 hours, though, and I'm clinging to those in the hopes that they'll drag me up out of this stupid depression and allow me to sleep—finally!—tonight, namely:

  • Shelly reminding us (and me in particular) that the reason we were playing poorly is that we were frustrated, and that our team had always been about the FUN. If we weren't having fun, we weren't playing our game. Thank you, Shelly, for making my last shift or two much more enjoyable than all the previous ones by helping me refocus on the FUN.
  • A nice e-mail exchange with Alison today, in which we looked forward to the Monday night open women's hockey at NE Skatezone this spring and summer (first session is at 7:30pm on April 16; next after that is April 30, continuing through August).
  • Knowing that the Vancouver tournament is only two months away. (Man, I wish Shelly and Meghan and several other of my Freeze teammates could come, tho. It's too bad my favorite tournament is so expensive to get to from Philadelphia!)
  • Looking at the photos I took after Sunday's game.
  • Watching the video of the post-game pep talk Jill gave in the locker room.

"There is no I in team. But there is a Me."

Next up will either be a recap of the weekend's games as best I can remember them (and chances are, unfortunately, that I won't remember much, given my sleep-deprived brain and the fact that I was two hyped up to take any photos or video) or an assessment of the state of my skills after my first season with the Freeze (the first season in a long time where I felt like I actually improved), depending on which I feel more equipped to write about first.

Posted by Lori in Freeze ~ Fall/Winter 2006 | March 19, 2007·05:27 PM