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Am I Canadian now?

On the weekend, I joined a few other alumni, plus staff and students from Brandon University to participate in the university's annual Winterlude.

I had been asked to take part in an Olympics-themed floor hockey tournament.

I agreed with … well, to be honest, with quite a bit of apprehension.

Thinking about it now, this was probably the first time that I have played floor hockey since high school gym class.

In fact, it might be the only time that I have ever voluntarily played hockey in my life.

Wait! Don't take my passport!

Skating and hockey just never really appealed to me. Although my girlfriend came out to the BU gym just so she could get a load of me "sportsing" I was not allergic to sports growing up. I played basketball, I cross-country skiied.

In later life, I've been more about middle-distance running. A couple of miles seems like a nice way to spend a few minutes — even up to the odd 10K.

But hockey never got its hooks into me.

(Thank goodness, I suspect my parents felt, given the equipment costs and early mornings.)

Anyway, like all Canadians, I still had some exposure to hockey through the miracle of forced participation in sports at school. But my groups of friends never seemed to be the ones who played street hockey or anything like that.

So it was with a lot of foreknowledge that I was going to be well outmatched that I agreed to join one of the alumni teams, where I was promptly made captain. Ha!

There were four teams, and I will just say that my team finished just barely out of the medals.

I scored zero goals and contributed zero assists, but I made a few decent plays. It turns out that I can have either an accurate shot, or a powerful shot, but not both.

I did manage to hit two spectators with the plastic puck, though. One girl took it like a champ straight in the sternum; the other little boy got winged after the puck spun up off a bench and tumbled back down right onto him. He cried a lot and I felt pretty bad.

Afterwards, the university provided a nice chili supper (and cold beers) and I realized just how exhausted I was.

All told, it had been a while (too long) since I had run around for a full two hours. And my regular light jogging apparently uses only a small subset of the muscles that got a workout in floor hockey.

I woke up Sunday morning stiffer and more sore than I had been in ages. I quite literally wondered, out loud, if being this stiff and sore was grounds for a sick day at work (answer: probably not, given that I sit in a comfy chair all day).

Today I am a little bit better, but my groaning and whining is doubltess wearing on my co-workers. I'm hoping it will be better tomorrow.

In the meantime — hockey.

I played hockey.

Without being forced to by a gym teacher.

People who know me will have to pick their jaws up off the floor.

I would help, but I can't currently bend over AND get back up.

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