Friday, May 25, 2012

Let's Go Kings!

Hello from Arizona. I'm here for the annual hockey tournament here in Phoenix. I'm playing in the lowest women's division on the L.A. Chill, and the boyfriend is playing on the Let' team, which is in the second to last men's/co-ed division. Right now I'm at the Ice Den, the Phoenix Coyotes practice facility, waiting for JW's first game. I had my first game earlier today at 4:30 pm. We tied Colorado Springs Pikes Peak Posse 2. They kept in our zone more than we did theirs, but no one scored so we ended 0-0. JW is in the locker room and I'm watching the game before his, which is teams from the fifth from the top division. There are 12 men's/co-ed divisions and 4 women's divisions. The women's divisions are all, obviously, women, and women can play in the other divisions but you rarely see women in anything but the lowest divisions. It is really fun to just watch games, especially because the teams in the top divisions (both men and women) are crazy good. The game I'm watching now is very fast and physical. Few people I know could survive at this level, and this is fifth from the top. It is exciting to see people playing recreational hockey that are this good. Of course, there are former college players and even former minor league players and men that were drafted by NHL teams but didn't play at that level. I was told that women from the US National team have played in the the Las Vegas women's tournament (put on by the same people).

It is really nice to be here and no have any work related-projects or stress on my mind. I don't even have to rush back after we're done, and we drove here a day early. In some sense it's a real vacation, although you could argue since I'm not working it's not a vacation at all. My boyfriend keeps telling me I look so much more relaxed than he's ever seen me. I've been on medical leave since the day after I had the lovely conversation with HR. It's unpaid, so I'm living off savings, but even with the worry about money it is like I escaped hell. It is amazing to just be. I thought I'd spend a couple weeks in bed, but I'm getting up at a reasonable hour most days and I feel motivated to exercise and work on projects at home. Chief among them is digging out of my clutter problem, which I enjoy now that I'm not dreading going back to work. Since the HR thing I'm developed a touch of agoraphobia. I trust other people even less than I did before, and I feel uncomfortable wonder what people are saying about me behind my back. I'm finding myself going numb and feeling distant around other people, something I used to do all the time when I was younger but had abated before this "normal people should stay away from her" thing. My therapist didn't think it was very funny, but I told her I was pitting one anxiety disorder against another, that is, going after my hording while I'm stuck at home feeling afraid to go out. Might as well. It is the evolution of my post-traumatic stress disorder- one stress calms down while another one flares up.

I've felt totally comfortable since I got to the tournament. The boyfriend is the only person I totally trust, and I don't feel agoraphobic around my teammates or other hockey players. They are my people. Speaking of which, OH MY GOD THE KINGS MADE THE STANLEY CUP FINAL!!!!!! Today we found out we are playing the New Jersey Devils, who beat the New York Rangers in overtime. I can hardly believe that I, mere mortal that I am, will be watching Stanley Cup finals game live from the fifth row behind the home net. The Kings unexpected journey from barely making the playoffs to blowing through the first, second, and third seeded teams in the Western Conference in 14 games (12 wins, 2 losses) is inspiring. If they can go from perpetual underachievers struggling through the regular season to a playoff demolition machine, I figure I can find a way to live my dream as a professional blogger. Onward!

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