I’m sure I’m not the only rec hockey player to have that post-game afterglow
By Warren Tabachnick
It was a summer league game, with a respectable start time of 8:30 on a work night. We were halfway through our 12-game season and the chemistry of the team was really kicking in. Post-game, we were feeling exalted after another win and were chillin’ in the locker room over a few beers, rehashing plays and shooting the breeze. I knew I should pack up my gear and head home; after all, it was a work night. But the good tidings in the locker room made it hard to break away. Finally, at around midnight, we made our way out of the arena for home.
This summer, though, has been somewhat different from the others. I’ve been seeing beginner players develop skills and blossom into true rec hockey players, and best of all I’ve watched the cohesiveness form among me and my teammates. Maybe it’s just me, but I find that hockey is unique in that it provides excellent networking opportunities to form lasting relationships, both personal and business. In the 22 years I am fortunate enough to have been playing, I’m lucky to have made some great friends and business associates. Just ask my attorney, my doctor, my dentist, my accountant…
The drive home had me going over plays in my head, smiling at some crazy antic on the ice I witnessed or joke I heard on the bench. Although I can get angry and frustrated with myself over a missed pass or something I did to cause us to give up a goal, the post-game afterglow I get from this sport always makes it all worthwhile.
Getting home after midnight, I knew that if I didn’t get my butt into bed by 12:30 I’d have a really tough time waking up for work. Normally, it doesn’t take longer than 10 minutes after my head hits the pillow that I fall asleep; but last night was different. What kept me buzzing and wide awake is what I call The Post-Game Afterglow.
I’m sure I’m not the only rec hockey player to experience that warm and fuzzy feeling. You know, the one you get from being a part of a great group of guys who get together once or twice a week for a common goal. It’s the complete package: the pregame banter and jokes while suiting up; the giving-it-your-all on the ice for an hour and a half; and the wind-down in the locker room as you shed your gear. The post-game bonding in the locker room, while discussing the highs (and lows) of the game over some beers and laughs, never grows old.
Come morning, my alarm clock rings at 6:15am. After one or two swipes at the snooze button, I finally drag myself out of bed and into the shower. Tired as hell (and with a little help from caffeine), I somehow make it through the day. I bask in The Afterglow, still thinking of the night before.
Can’t wait till the next game!