Ouch, I’m getting old

February 25, 2008

My back is killing me. I seem to have put it out playing hockey again. Last time I felt like this, I had to go to the massage therapist for an adjustment. It all worked out in the end, and my back was fine for a few months, but every time I played hockey, I worried that I was going to put it out again.

I guess this is what happens as you grow older. During the game last night, I was thinking about getting older a lot. I guess it was really feeling the pain, and the hockey wasn’t particularly fast – this is what goalies do during a slow game in case you were wondering.

One thing that freaks me out is injury. As a father of a toddler who is very squeezable, I want to make sure I’m in good enough shape to pick up the little fella for a good long time. And every time some guy runs into me, I cringe, thinking I’m going to mess my back, arm, hand or head up. Of course, this never happens, but as I grow older, I know it’s just a matter of time before my ability to recover from injuries slows down to the point I’ll have to consider a back up roll between the pipes.

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Canucks kid attracting a lot of attention

December 5, 2006

My brother bought us this cover for the little guy’s car seat/buggy carrier to protect him from the cold and Toronto Maple Leafs fans.

Canuck force field

It’s not really our style, but on a practical side we’re finding it quiet useful on these chilly winter days.

If you own a similar car seat I suggest getting one of these, but go for a neutral colour and negate the team logo if you don’t want to people to comment on it.

I encountered a bit of what Momma J has been telling me about today when I was pushing him around some stores while doing some Christmas shopping. A cashier even yelled out “Go Canucks Go” as we walked away with our Christmas purchases.

The funniest remarks came during one of Momma J’s visits to the local liquor store where they listen to the games over the load speakers during work. One of the guys working there were saying, “hey, he’s asleep just like the Canucks were last night.”

Not being a hockey fan, Momma J didn’t know how to respond. She doesn’t watch or care much about the games, so she finds this kind of attention a little embarrassing.


Goalie blues

December 2, 2006

My goaltending woes continue. I seem to be having problems getting motivated to go out and stop pucks these days.

I think it has to do with the little guy. Tonight I came home from work and put him in his chair, so he could watch us eat. The whole time, he sat and smiled at me. I’m finding I’d rather hang with him than go out to hockey

I guess it’s normal, but I do need to get my game back. If I don’t, I risk not being invited back to play next year. Tonight wasn’t so bad because a bunch of guys didn’t show up, so we played four on four.

But I’m still having trouble with my game. I can’t seem to get into the same grove I was in last year. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m more interested in being a dad these days, or if it’s just because I’m getting old.

I hope its the latter.


Northern instinct

November 26, 2006

It snowed a ton in Vancouver today.

This morning we were supposed to head out to Coquitlam for a visit with Momma J’s sister. Because of the road conditions, we chose not to risk an accident or being stranded with the little guy in the car.

As a guy who grew up in Prince George where it was a good year if it hadn’t snowed by Halloween this decision was tough to swallow – especially when I own an all-wheel drive Subaru that is designed for conquering these types of weather conditions.

So when I got the call from the guy who organizes our Sunday hockey to say the game was still on, I was thrilled. Because the guys “need the goalie”, I had an excuse jump in the car and test out its mettle in these adverse conditions.

Even with all season tires, the car was great in the snow and I arrived safely at the rink. Unfortunately only three others showed up, so we didn’t play.

For a minute I was thinking my decision to risk being hit by some idiot who was driving around with bald tires was a dumb one. That is until Rob showed up in his all-wheel drive with a huge smile on his face. Like me, he grew up where there was a ton of snow, so he was itching to get out and spin his tires.

Even though I’m a new dad and am a lot more responsible these days, I’ll never be able to suppress the northern blood that courses through my veins. If I see snow, I have to go out and pull the e-brake at least once.


Family outing

November 13, 2006

A break in the rain and a stat holiday allowed the family G to finally get out of the house and hit the shops on Robson.

What turned out as a routine trip to Robson Street (Vancouver’s much, much smaller version of London’s Oxford Street, New York’s Soho or Tokyo’s Shibuya) for new contact lenses, turned out to be a pretty sweet day. After spending most of our weekends running from family event to family event, or just sitting around taking care of Baby G, I forgot how much I enjoyed crowds, shopping and life outside of the house in general.

For most the discovery of a wicked hot dog vendor, a good coffee and a walk in and out of some hip shops looking for a new pair of shoes is just another day in the city. But for Momma J and I, it was a sign things are getting back to “normal”.  It’s strange how seven weeks of intense parenting can leave you on the outside looking in.

I also managed to take in the CFL’s Western final (Go Lions Go!) with a few good friends yesterday and play a game of hockey (hence the need for new contacts, but more on that some other time).

We’re all heading out to a book signing tomorrow too. Though I’ve appreciated the evenings at home, all of this activity was a nice break from the apartment with all of its distractions.


Magic moments contiued…

November 10, 2006

After starting my post last night the little guy woke up and required some boob juice. After he was fed and content, I crashed on the floor beside him until 12 p.m. As usual, Momma J got up and took over, and I headed to bed, so I wasn’t able to continue my previous post.

Now that he’s six weeks old, the little fella requires real attention. By this I mean he wants to be entertained. A few days ago he started cooing and smiling a bit, and he’s now able to stick his fist in his mouth half of the times he tries – I’ve decided he’s a genius, of course.

These new abilities are a double-edged sword; as a new parent they are thrilling and fascinating, but they also mean he requires a lot more attention than in the past.
To retain our sanity and get some stuff done around the house, we’ve began sitting him in a vibrating chair that our friends gave us. Most of the time he’ll sit in it without needing any more stimuli, but every now and again he wants to stare out the window or watch the TV.

Oh yes, the little fella is beginning to discover the evil idiot box – I’m finding he loves hockey, which seems to have something to do with the high contrast and lots of movement.

Before we had him, like many high-minded non-parents, I swore my child wouldn’t watch TV. But as I’ve grown older, wiser and more open-minded, I realize depriving a kid of TV, video games or the Internet will only backfire. By eliminating these things from his life, I’d be setting him up for multiple beatings in the schoolyard for not being able to relate to his peers.

Sure sitting him in front of the TV at such a young age may seem like lazy parenting and some studies suggest it is bad for development, but if it’s only for 10 or 15 minutes and I’m able to get 20 things done in that time that would pile up otherwise then it is fine in my books. Reducing stress and making sure the house runs smoothly means a more peaceful existence for everyone, which benefits the whole household.

Besides I have full confidence he will only watch a limited amount of TV over time because we’re going to keep him active and engaged throughout his childhood.


Blame it on the baby

November 6, 2006

My hockey skills have diminished since the little fella has come along.

As a goalie, I’m always looking to blame someone for a bad game, and unfortunately after five in a row, it’s tough to blame my defence or the forwards for not coming back. I can’t even blame bad bounces or bad puck luck for my dismal performances. Nor can I blame myself because that just wouldn’t sit right with the international goalie guild.

So, like any superstitious goalie, I had to look deeply into the past to see what could be to blame for my bad play. After a stellar season last year and a ton of summer hockey, the only new thing that could be affecting my game is the baby. Sure I have some new gear, but I used it this summer and it wasn’t an issue. I also bought some new skates in early September before my game began to slip, but I used them and they were awesome from day one, so it’s got to be the little fella.

I’m not sure what to do about bumping the slump because taking him back is out of the question – besides he’s way too cute.

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Maybe the only solution it to move back to my hometown and play pond hockey every night until my game comes back.

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Whatever I do, I better improve or I’m not going to be invited back to play at the Arbutus Club in the new year…