E Posner – 2017-2018 Essay

If you poke around the MGHA website, you’ll find that the only requirement to join the league is willingness to be nice to LGBT+ people. An interest in hockey is good to have, but not strictly necessary. So, I signed up. I had no interest in playing hockey, but I knew how to be polite. Actually, I had zero interest in playing any competitive team sports. It seemed silly to me to get worked up about a game when the difference between winning and losing is kind of arbitrary and almost entirely out of my control. After the first few games, when people would ask me if I enjoyed the game, I would always say “yes,” but in the back of my mind I would think “Hmmm, did I really enjoy game?”

But by middle of the season things started to change. I’d be on the bench watching James or Bob or whoever was on the ice playing right wing and think to myself, would they just please get the fuck off the ice already, so I can go out and take my turn?

The big switch came from learning a whole bunch of new things, including

1. boatloads of practical information about hockey

2. It’s really OK to take the puck, even if I’m not going to do anything smart with it when I get it.

3. To play well and have fun, I need to focus on what I do when the puck comes to my part of the rink. I don’t need to care about winning and losing.

I learned these lessons after weeks of nice, supportive, encouraging talk on the bench and in the locker room. The MGHA isn’t joking when they say you need to be a nice person to play. So, thank you to my teammates and the MGHA for showing me that competitive sports can be fun.

Go Blunicorns! Sparkle hard!