Live your life to its fullest

A few days ago, I heard that an ex-teammate of mine, Billy Wondergem, passed away in his sleep.  Here is a guy who was in great physical condition and a lot of fun to play hockey with.  I had the opportunity to play hockey with him over the course of the last few years.  Like most of my teammates, I took him for granted.  He had a huge heart, and I really wish I got to know him better than I did.

Just to hear of his passing really made me think about the little things.  Here is a guy who was on the up and up.  He was incredibly intelligent and fun to play hockey with.  He was working at Van Andel Institute and had his hands into some very important things like kidney cancer research.  I didn’t know that before he passed away.  I feel ashamed that I didn’t know more about him when he did pass.

This whole situation reminds me of another friend I lost a few years ago, Ben Pauls.  He was a very close friend who even today I feel bad that I wasn’t as close as I should have been.  Maybe if I had insisted to keep in touch with him, and pushed my way into his life more, he might not have committed suicide.

What is a man who does not make the world a better place to live?  A waste of a man.  Billy made the world a better place to live through is hard work and dedication in professional and personal life.  I strive to do the same thing, but I feel that I haven’t done enough.  Especially considering my age and experience.

In the end, its important to cherish every moment.  Live your life to its fullest.  You never know when it will all be over.  I will not be regretting my choices in life or regretting where life has taken me.  Life is too short to regret anything.

A disappointing end

The outcome again this season was the same as the last one.  A disappointing one.  I feel that I played average today.  I had a great first game, in fact, my team had a great first game in the beginner division.  My semifinal game in the beinner division was less than desired.  Then my undefeated team got bounced in the first round by the eventual champs.  I have to give kudos to both teams that won the championships in their respective divisions.  They were more skilled, and wanted it more.  We just couldn’t get anything going, and I didn’t play as good as I should have in either of the losses.

I am already planning on coming back again next season.  Both my teams are returning and I am looking forward to coming back for both of them.  It was a very successful season and I had a lot of fun playing.  At the same time though, I am not as skilled as I used to be.  My goaltending in big games has got to improve.

For the first time in a long time

It has been a very successful rollerhockey season for me.  Both my teams qualified for playoffs.  Now, I find myself in familiar territory.  My teams are going to show up and we will have our chance to win a championship.  Unlike seasons past, where my teams were outgunned or short players, this seems to be a situation where all the stars are aligned.  My players are showing, and they are competitive.  The big question is, can I deliver in the clutch like I used to be able to.

I remember a time when I was counted on to be the steady player.  Today, for the first time in a long time, I am nervous.  As hard as I try to shake it, I feel like karma is going to bite me in the ass in the playoffs.  It really is a dreadful thing to think.  There are two types of players in this world, those that keep their composure and head in the game and win championships, and those that do not.  In the past, I have had problems like this.  Now I have to shake the negative and focus on the positive.

One major positive is that my undefeated team has found a way to win in every situation.  Down in the 3rd period?  They come back to win.  Playing well in OT.  They find a way to get it done and with balanced scoring.  I have played well enough to win, but not dominating the league.  I have come through when it mattered, but I have also had my share of bad games.  Yet, my team always finds a way to make it happen.

One of the downsides is that the league has been very competitive.  We have won by just a goal against the top teams in the league, and they will be gunning for me this time around.  After not playing well in playoffs the last few seasons, I have a lot to prove coming into this playoff series.

To quote Harry Vardon….

“To play well you must feel tranquil and at peace. I have never been troubled by nerves in golf because I felt I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

I have to get this kind of mentality back.  I must forget about the dread and concentrate on the good that will come about tomorrow.  Win or lose, it will be fun tomorrow.  It will be competitive.  When the sun sets and the day is over, I will be drinking with my friends at the local pub and talking about how much fun we had.  Yes, it will be a great day to play hockey.  I really have nothing to lose.  Its rec league hockey.  Not the stanley cup finals.  I have everything to gain, including my confidence to do well as I get older.

Now for some much needed sleep before the day starts tomorrow.