Posts Tagged ‘sports’

smiling-woman-l

Money definitely doesn’t grow on trees. At least not how we all would like to believe.

This morning, I had a visit with the RN.

She said that I was doing very well and improving at a spectacular rate. Something that they always like to report and that we like to hear.

Then she asked me if I had remembered the conversation that she and I had about my goals to get to sledge hockey tournament in Boston in 2014.

The Austin Blades program isn’t going to help if any of us players want to go to this tournament. So we have to do this on our own and raise enough money to go.

This RN apparently discussed it at some capacity with another patient of hers earlier in the week. And when she came by for a visit this morning, she reminded me that I was needing all the help I could get.

This patient, or whomever she told about my story…. proved to me that there are still nice people out there in this world.

This person (unknown to me because of laws) gave a cash donation of $10.

I was so excited and surprised that I couldn’t even think straight!!! 10dollar

A total stranger. I do not know exactly what was said. And I do not know who this person is. And I will never know, but they felt interested enough in helping me reach the goal.

A teammate of mine (the other assistant captain) vowed this season that when we heard where the next year’s tournament was going to be, that he and I would work together in trying to get the money together to go. We both would go, even if nobody else from the Austin Blades went.

So the fundraising is a little different, since everything is going to be split between the two of us. The goal is definitely not as high as my personal fundraising site that I put together on my own last year… which is still available to receive donations. That one is up to help me upgrade my equipment and be able to return what was loaned to me back to the team so we have that equipment for new players in the future.  IF you are interested in that one, please let me know.

This campaign though is for two people. Two players strongly passionate about the game of sledge hockey that its all we ever talk about when we get together. Eventually at some point in the conversation between he and I, the topic of sledge hockey or the team will dominate our conversation.

We’ve both gone as far as to say that sledge hockey is in our veins.

My partner in this adventure has already stated that he doesn’t want any presents given to him for any holiday, whether it be Father’s Day, a birthday, or even Christmas. Instead he wants people to donate to help him get to Boston.

I have jumped on that as well. I would request that anyone thinking about a Christmas gift or birthday to go ahead and just make a donation to help me out as well.  fundraiser-2

Let’s face it though: fund raising is very difficult. Especially for things like this. I hate to sound like I am begging as well. But nobody can get anywhere if they do not ask.

And even though it is really early before the start of the tournament…. I believe an early start is a great head start!!!!

I already have received a donation from the kindness of a complete and total stranger. And I am very thankful for that person. So whoever you are– THANK YOU!!!

And if you are reading this and feel that you are interested in helping, or inspired by the story of the anonymous donation, the link to the site is in the Blogroll. Or you can click on the link provided below.

Even if you are not willing or ready to make a donation, by sharing the story of the stranger and the link would be very, very, very helpful.

We are not looking for or anticipating donations of large amounts. Anything obviously will help. And the more of those kinds of contributions that are put together then the goal can be met and our dream of once again going out, doing something that we love to do and are very passionate about, and having that personal independence to actually have the ability to play the sport, would make every cent and dollar that much more special.

So please help if you can. And spread the word. Think of the kind stranger who doesn’t even know me but still had enough in their heart to believe in me.

Thank you.

http://www.gofundme.com/2t2pvs

 

 

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”~Jonathan Swift
 
 
Well, dang.
 
Two weeks into this entire business of healing at home and I have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not I am healing or if my health is going in the right direction in order for my body to heal with wound left from surgery.
 
Some days, I’m doing fine. Other days I am not do so hot. It is a relentless dance of taking four steps forward, two steps back, then three steps forward, and another step back. This dance overall is annoying.
 
And then it struck me like a ton of dirt being dumped on my head.
 
Hockey.

'Reality Calling!'

 
So far I’ve not really “missed” anything important. Since the closure of two ice rinks and the beginning of fights over who will get ice time at the last remaining sheet of ice, let’s just say I’ve not practiced or played since last November. And so in that regard, I have not missed anything since my hospital visit and beyond.
 
However I know that there will be events coming soon. And with an open wound somewhere on my body, it really would not be an intelligent move on my part to strap myself down in a sled and go out there breakin’ heads and scoring goals from miraculous angles of awe and glory and just setting the scoreboard on fire.
 
Soon though, we will be on the ice. Performing our first exhibition in front of thousands of screaming, drunk hockey fans in about a month from now. We had done that before in front of almost a sell out crowd a few years ago. Doing it again last November in Houston in front of even thousands of more fans, was totally thrilling. So I want to do it again and experience that supportive roar of the crowd. And like I said, I have no way of knowing whether or not my wound is healing.
 
It is truly disappointing to think that I may have to sit out the rest of the season. It’s not over yet, as many people have thought. Our schedule will go on through the month of May.
 
But last season, I had such difficulties finding sufficient transportation to and from practices in January that by February I was out for what would be the rest of the season because I ended up with pneumonia.
 
Then when the pneumonia had passed, I had two opportunities to make practices. But then again, transportation issues.
 
That was then. But now… this.
 
And with the rumor of our team captain giving up sledge hockey, and wheelchair basketball because “he’s getting too old”, it would be a personal opportunity for me to step up for my team and go from co-assistant captain to team captain. Since a lot of my teammates seem to think I would be a better candidate for that anyway, it wouldn’t be such a move made in pride or snobbery. I think deep down that I AM their captain in their minds.
 
But I will not bend to rumor. Whether or not he stays or goes will have no bearing on whether or not I continue my participation with the team and the season and the seasons to come.
 
What I must do, is get BETTER. And FAST!!!!!!!!
 
In March, we’ll be doing our exhibition locally. In April, there’s a possibility of participating in a giant tournament in Dallas. Of which if we do participate, we will get our asses beat to a pulp. But we’ll have the experience under our belts. And then in May, back to Houston for another “Paralympic Experience” as we hosted here back in January.
 
It is breaking my heart into pieces to think that I might miss all of that. I could go looking for something or someone to blame, but I won’t because it is what it is and that’s the way it is.
 
But if nothing I think that my silver medal would be to actually go with the team and be their support, even if I am not going to be on the ice. To miss the experience altogether would be a shame.
 
I know that many are looking forward to the events in March. People that have been so curious to watch me play and learn what I do because they are so interested in it. I will focus on whatever the heck it is I have to do to heal and get better. And if I am not there yet, I will show up anyways. I’m pretty adamant about that.
 
The dance though of forward and backward is killing me. Keep me in your thoughts as I tackle this bad boy with tenacity.
 
 
 

 

I am one really tired and sore person. But it is great to be a sledge hockey player.

There’s just not enough hot water in the shower for me to battle all of the sorness and everything out of the body.

My team was invited by the STAR skaters program to join them as they were going to participate in an exhibition over at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas during a game by the Houston Aeros.

So travel, we did. This was the FIRST time that our sledge hockey team has gone somewhere else to play in the history of the program!

We were fortunate enough to have enough people go to have our team represented well. And we were also fortunate to find out that our hotel stay was given to us by the Embassy Suites for free!!

But it was a very good time in Houston. We did an intermission exhibition for about five minutes. Although I do not know how many fans were there. I hope to find out how many were in attendance.

After the game (which went into OT), we got to play on the ice for an hour. We played against Houston and my personal stats soared! Although I did have some tricky backhand shots that were scored. It really was such a great time to be out on the ice like that.

Although I must share some moments that happened. For instance, I was on the ice in front of the crowd and the mascot for the Aeros saw me coming down the ice and started striking his stick on the ice. So I took that for hockey intimidation. I went blazing down the ice directly at the mascot and just inches away from him, I turned my sled sideways and ultimately took him out. His body went flying over my shoulder and landed on the other side. I heard several people react.

It was a controlled fall. The mascot was fine. I went near him to see if he was okay. I could hear him laughing inside of his suit. Everything was okay.

When we were on the ice during that hour into the night after the game, our team was just all over the opponent. I was very disappointed however to see that the seats were emptied out. Even though the game announcer encouraged the crowd several times throughout the game to stick around. Nevertheless, we were out there having a great time.

We finally got back to the hotel around 11:30 PM. Yeah, it was that late! I did the best I could, dragging my sled and equipment bag the two blocks back to the hotel and then up the elevator.

This is very similar to the view of the Toyota Center that I had from my corner room at Embassy Suites.

Throughout that evening, there were people coming in and out of the hotel. I really enjoyed how the employees at the Embassy Suites would acknowledge me as I went through the lobby and in and out. Once I came back in and I made my way towards the elevators, the people working at the front desk would always say, “Welcome back, sir!”. I thought that was really nice.

Lots of people in the downtown area. There was a group of teenage girls there. When I was pretty much done for that night, I was waiting on an elevator and here they came. We all were waiting and we got on the same elevator, punching numbers to each floor. I was on the eight floor and had already punched 8. And then others, 10, 11, 12, 14 and so on.

I was so exhausted that when the doors opened for MY floor, I didn’t move. I finally came back to reality and saw that I needed to get off the elevator. I snuck through just as the doors were closing. I could hear them all laughing because I had brainfarted that I was needing to get off of the elevator.

Oh well.

I got back to my room and put everything aside. It was really a cool place to stay. The entire room suite is much larger than the entire space in my home!!! I didn’t want to leave it was so nice, but then again, I’m not going to pay $180 a night.

Finally got to bed around 1:00 AM. Set the alarm clock for 6:00 AM. But I was up and awake at 5:00 AM. So I got ready for the day because it was going to be very busy.

At 7:00 AM, I had the opportunity to meet up with author, Jessica Trapp for breakfast at the hotel. It is always awesome to be able to hang out with her. I think she’s just the best and I am so glad that we are friends and that she was willing to come to downtown Houston to see me. So yeah, I was willing to get up that early to hang out with her even though I had a long day and a short night. It is always an euphoric reaction when I get to meet up with her.

After that, we checked out and waved farewell to Embassy Suites. We moved on to Memorial City Mall where they have an ice rink inside the shopping mall. There, we went back on the ice for a while. By noon that day, I was getting very tired and more sore throughout my body.

But we weren’t done. Not by a long shot!!

 A few hours break, we all hung out at the mall and had lunch and what not. Then off we went again. This time to Sugar Land Ice Center for two full hours of ice time!! All of the players on our team got there about 45 minutes early and were all spread out along benches, laying down. Just trying to stretch out our backs and get some rest wherever and however we could.

Once on the ice, we got warmed up as always. Laps around the rink, and then handling the puck while skating. Nothing really new for the team. But I guess something not so familiar for Houston’s program.

Meanwhile, as I was handling the puck. I took a shot at the goal as one of our team volunteers stood there as a goalie. I was in the sled, HE was on his feet.

So I took a very hard shot. I noticed that the puck went flying into the air. Which is something I am not really good at, but getting better. What happened next– could have been a $10,000 winner on “America’s Funniest Videos”.

The puck ascended into the air as it took off. It hit the guy standing there defending the goal…… right in the crotch. Now, it wasn’t the funniest thing that it hit this guy in the junk, but it bounced off of him and went into the net.

Those of us who witnessed it, all fell over laughing.

Those of us who did not witness it, went running to help people because they thought that the players were in trouble and couldn’t get back up again.

I had some friends come watch me at Sugar Land Ice Center. These were people that I have not seen since I was a child. I knew that they were taking pictures and videos. But alas, this particular hockey humor moment was not documented.

I am very grateful that they too, came out all that way to see me. It warms my heart that they were there to watch me play. I had my own two person cheering section.

But after getting involved in what I am calling a “four car pile-up” I got pushed backwards and slammed into the wall, hurting my back. I got off the ice and I was done.

We were all exhausted when we got home. Bodies sore, deprived of sleep, but not caring too much because it was all just a blast!

Not sure as to when we will be doing this again. There is a sledge hockey festival in April, in Dallas, Texas that is on our schedule or at least the radar. I am sure that locally, we’ll have some events starting in 2012.

But we thank STAR skaters for having us out there. We’ll meet again on the ice.

By the way: Can anyone come by and give me a massage? Thanks!!!

 

“All of the sports have a safety net, but boxing is the only sport that has none. So when the fighter is through, he is through. While he was fighting his management was very excited for him, but now that he is done, that management team is moving on.”~Gerry Cooney
 
Here I sit in absolute soreness! And I’m smiling about it every time I grunt or groan.
 
The time has come to begin the 2011-12 sled hockey season for my team. It was definitely a work out as the team hasn’t really been in shape. But you know what? Nobody on the team is going to complain because we finally were able to get back out on the ice since last May. (And for me even longer, probably February of this year.)
 
I can admit that I am out of shape for this kind of excercise and activity. But once we get going, everything should be just fine. Each of us were just as sore as the other. Although a few of us might be even more so, because they had trouble staying up on the ice.
 
We warmed up, we did some drills, and then we got down to business. Unfortunately while drawing up the team in half and then playing, I found myself to be amongst two players. One of which hasn’t been on the ice for very long. I cannot say anything bad about him because I do not know him at all. Only that he is a very young player.
 
And the other player who should probably be off of ice entirely. Not to say that his skill isn’t great or that he sucks, but his foul attitude and the way he treats the assistants because he is that player’s brother, really does bother the rest of the team.
So anyway, after it all was said and done, I ended up with a hat trick. For those of you who do not know what that hockey term means, a “hat trick” in hockey means that I scored three goals in one game.
 
The day started out to be very difficult though when I had heard the news that our team captain was out for three months, due to a broken ankle. He broke it while participating in wheelchair basketball. So because he went and got wreckless in one sport and ended up with an injury, he’s not going to be participating in THIS sport for several months.
 
The personal relationship that I have between myself and the team captain is at best- strained. But I do try to keep a lid on it when I am on the ice. Still though, hearing that he wasn’t going to be joining us for the first few months, did cause me to grumble.
 
The sled hockey program has been going on since 2005. I have been playing since 2008. And I LOVE IT!!! Even after being named co-assistant captain of the team last season, I’ve still done whatever I could to help the team, both on and off of the ice. And I do need to work on that grumbling even when I am off of the ice.
 
This year though, we have an new addition to the team. I believe I’ve mentioned it before. Someone is coming in and taking care of the “behind the scenes” stuff for the team. Setting up dates and events and what not.
 
After our little icy war yesterday, we gathered outside and met with the family who has come in to help. We would all find out at the same time that we are about to embark on several different activities and events that would be so helpful for the team in the long run. More exposure and more face time with the general public to let them know that yes, we may be disabled, but we’re kicking your butts when you are standing there on the ice with us and we dance around you in semi-circles.
 
And it was confirmed that this team now is going to travel. The thought of it is quite exciting. A lot of the major activities and events however, will happen in the early months of 2012… and that is fine with the team, we’re just so happy that we get the opportunity to do this.
 
The sad part was hearing the news that with all of the fund raising opportunities that we have received, we are going to need a minimum of $3,000 this year. It will pay for the time on the ice for THIS season as well as for a few times from the last season.
 
Yesterday, was our first day. We had six people there. So I suppose that if each person can raise $500 a piece, that would take care of the minimum.
 
So if it comes down to having to use this blog to get the word out, in order to raise sufficient funds, then I will do it!
 
The other thing that was so disappointing was that our other co-assistant captain told me in the locker room that he will not be able to go with us on our first road event, which is in November. Meaning, I will be left to be the leader of the team. And I think that I can do the job, what is the sad part is that he is a very powerful player. So without him and without our team captain, we’re gonna have our butts handed back to us on ice. Leading the team is one thing, carrying them is another. To be honest, I am not looking forward to that. We can lose 100-0, but I’m not looking forward to doing all of the work on the ice. 5 against 1 is never fair.
 
So stay with me. The excitement comes and goes. Particularly after each Sunday when I have hockey. The soreness is always to come that night and into each Monday afterwards.
 
The events will begin in November. Then we’ll do more stuff in January and March.  I’ll never forget that feeling of playing on the ice in front of a sold out crowd of over 6,000 people for just a few minutes at an AHL hockey game. Probably the best night of my hockey career. And we’ll get to do that same thing again.
 
If you are willing to help. Leave a comment. Even if its fundraising ideas. All feedback is much appreciated.
 
 
 

 

As many of you know, this is the second weekend of the college football season for 2011-12.

Dear wives and/or girlfriends of men who cannot seem to live without college football:

Fear not! Your relationship is not in trouble!! It is only on “hold”, if you will.

Now I know, a lot of you complain about your man going crazy and losing his mind and all of that. But that doesn’t mean you are losing him. Listen to me: It only means that he is going to be distracted for a few hours every Saturday for a while.

And it won’t be permanent. Depending on what team your man is cheering for, it will only last until near Thanksgiving. Which still is in late November. So if your man is cheering for a team who sucks? Just hold on until Thanksgiving, and you’ll be fine.

But if your man is cheering for a team that wins? Well, if you can wait until Thanksgiving, then you’re almost done. There will be MAYBE a Saturday or two after that where your man suddenly for a few hours won’t know the difference from his hand to his ass. Be patient! He will be hoping that there will be one last game at the end of the year, or at the beginning of 2012. But you will definitely have him back for the holidays.

So then let’s review:

Every Saturday (either afternoon or evening) for about three and a half hours, then the other six days out of the week, he is all yours.

This will continue until the end of November, every Saturday for about three and a half hours. If his team sucks.

If his team wins, this will continue until the end of November. And probably into the first or second Saturday of December, with a few weeks break until the absolute final game that they will play, called a “bowl game”.

BUT: If you are the kind of woman who loves her pigskin? Then you have got it made in the shade. You are probably sitting right next to your man every single second, every Saturday. Congratulations!

So the key is to hang on for a few hours, one day out of the week, for the next few weeks. Unless your man is into the NFL as well. If so, that goes on longer, and I cannot help you as I am not a huge fan of the NFL. That takes up more than just one day out of your week!!

And to the men out there, forgetting that you got a good woman. Remember this:

I do have my favorite college football team that I love to cheer for, whether or not they have a winning season or not. Just like you.

BUT I DO NOT HAVE CABLE, and network channels commonly do not show my team. So then what does that mean??

So when you’re off in La-La Land because you wanna cheer for your team, and be with the guys, and totally forget that one person in your life, called a wife or girlfriend? “I am” most likely on the Internet, chatting with her.

Thank you. 

 

I recently attended a local hockey game. Needless to say, I did enjoy myself. Up until the part where I was accosted by a female.

Here is what went down. During one the intermissions, I went down to the nearest concession stand and bought a drink and some nachos. Expensive but what the heck, I don’t get out too much. So I was attempting to juggle my snack and my drink on my lap and navigate a wheelchair through crowds who are either drunk or not paying attention. Contrary to popular belief, I am a safe driver. No matter how many times I’ve received nicknames of speed in a wheelchair.

I get to the door to where I need to go and a cheerleader comes up to me and gets in my way. She proceeds to turn the knob up to 11 with her charm and flirtation by asking, “Aww, did you buy those for me, sweetie?”.

What the hell…


First of all, I’m having enough trouble trying not to spill anything. Plus I had about another 40 feet and one elevator ride full of people to go. And this cheerleader just jumps in front of me to the point where I had to some how, slow myself down, not spill anything, and then not run into her or anybody else.

Secondly, “sweetie”? Excuse me, but I don’t waking up with you next to me this morning.

As attractive as this girl was, it was ME who was being offended by vocabulary and terminology where it could have been defined as sexual harrassment.

Terms of endearment are in this day and age, slathered in people’s every day conversation like mayonnaise in a sandwich for a 400 lb. man.

I know several women who use terms of endearment when they speak to me. And I don’t mind that too much at all. Waitresses do it all of the time. But they are not paid very well and yes, they are trying to earn themselves a higher tip.

But what profitable gain do cheerleaders receive to do it? None!!

I was once told that cheerleaders appear to be snobs because they get hit on all of the time. Plus in my personal experience of being around cheerleaders, to be one, it was all part of a popularity contest.

Think about that though for a moment, “Cheerleaders appear to be snobs because they get hit on all of the time.” Hmm, trying to rationalize that to where the cheerleader doesn’t look or appear to be so negative gives me about as much indigestion as those nachos did from the other night.

This cheerleader came up and attempted her charms on me and it did not work well at all. We’ll call it a FAIL. I looked at her. Smiled graciously. And responded back with, “If I gave you some of these nachos, then I’d have to share with the rest of the crowd. And there’s thousands of fans here, and I don’t have that kind of money.”

Cheerleaders get hit on because at sporting events, beer is sold. Man drinks beer. Man gets drunk. Man sees woman, and loses his dignity, self-control, and hits on them. But cheerleaders also get hit on, because they fire the first bullet of flirtation, which causes a man to suddenly enter into this realm thinking that its okay to fire back. So when the man gets spurned, cheerleaders suddenly equal… BITCH.

They used to be there in order to get the crowd all excited so that they make noise in support of their team. But nowadays, they are exciting people in other ways but there is no real support for the team that makes it worth the teams participating in their event. And from what was exposed that I could see on most of them the other night, they could honestly use a few rounds of nachos. GO TEAM!!!!!

Today is Super Bowl XLV. (That’s “45” for you non-Romans.) And yet I find myself not much in the hype of the big game, or at least not getting involved in it all. I have to be honest, the NFL is not one of the things I ascribe to.

But don’t get me wrong. I am like any other warm-blooded male who enjoys his sports. It just happens to be that this is not one of them.

My mood has been the same all day long. There’s been no crescendo of jubilation or any countdown to kickoff of any kind. And I understand that there are many out there who have been waiting and waiting for this day to come.

Locally however, the apartment complex in which I live in, they have been struggling with management to let them be able to access the community room in order to watch the game. Our community room has a television, VCR/DVD, several dozen books, furniture, tables, chairs, and six computers. Its there for our use in the first place. But since the great remodel job of 2006, its been closed to the residents on the weekends. A bit unfair, but I’ve adapted to the fact that we must be crammed into our tiny apartments like caves for the weekend. So in a sense, it is a great victory for us living here.

As far as just having it opened for the Super Bowl, I’m not so sure I agree with that. But as they say, one step at a time. The struggles and tribulations of the community room is best served for another time, another blog.

I have been given the understanding that there will be food. So I suppose that would be one good thing about it. One thing about being a bachelor is that I can take the opportunity to partake in the munchifications and nobody will say anything about it. Finding places like that to eat, that is on the outside of the home is always a bonus in my book.

But here we go back again to the game. Its not giving me any interest at all. The Super Bowl takes a common football game which should last about two and a half, and up to three hours and stretches it so far with special commercials and what they consider “Halftime Entertainment”. Including the pre-game, the pre-pre-game, the pre-pre-pre-game, the trophy ceremony and oh…. on top of that, the post-game.

And did I mention, they get some goofball to sing our National Anthem and turn it from a two minute and ten second moment of patriotic pride to a four minute church hymn?

Altogether, a heeping pile of five to six hours in total length.

There’s almost a guarantee to have nothing else on television. For those of us who do not have cable or satellite, you know what I am talking about. Options are absolutely nothing on this day.

Yes, I know the commercials are amusing and sometimes hilarious. But believe me, you’re not missing anything because those commercials will be re-broadcast again throughout the rest of the month. Plus, there’s always the Internet. So that argument is out.

I think that instead, I’ll just stick to my sledge hockey. (Sled hockey as its called in the USA.)