I never used to be a sports person. I always hated gym class in elementary school (I mean, once you get to the age where you have to start changing into gym strip, things reach a whole new level of awkward), and in high school I was lucky enough to have a sadistic Nazi gym teacher who basically shattered my self-esteem. This woman was pure evil: she would be perfect nice if you saw her outside of school, but in the gym she would be doing things like dividing girls into teams based on weight (the "Twigs" and the "Trunks"), calling people fat to their faces, and setting up her grading system so that, if you didn't do a lap fast enough, you got zero -- no points for effort. It got to the point where I wouldn't even bother to run laps of the field anymore, since I could never do it fast enough so I would always fail anyway.
Needless to say, gym, sports, and most physical activity was ruined for me for a very long time. I'm still not a sporty person -- I prefer to lounge around and read than get physical -- but in the past year and a half, I've found my sentiments changing a bit.
At the beginning of the 2009 season, I really got into watching hockey. Every Vancouver Canucks game, there I was, watching the broadcast eagerly. I've only missed a handful of games the past two seasons, and only because I absolutely had
to. At first I was pretty confused and had to ask my dad lots of questions, but now I can rattle off statistics like a pro. I have the heights and weights and stats of most players memorized. I put my male friends to shame.
I never used to be like this. I used to scoff at every sport and bury my nose in a book. I still do that, of course, but I kind of learned something: the Vancouver Canucks are not all that different from YA fiction.
There are personalities. There are relationship dynamics
between players. There's chemistry and flair and straight-up style. Sure, maybe I originally came to hockey for the boys (I mean, want some Kesler? Or some Mason Raymond? Good God, how gorgeous can you get?)... but I stayed for the stories.
The way the Sedin twins play off each other, practically reading each others' minds? There's a story there. Alex Burrows's overtime goal that eliminated our rival, the Chicago Blackhawks? There's a story there. Manny Malhotra getting hit in the eye with a puck, everyone says his career is over, and tonight he could step back out on the
ice in a miracle recovery only three months later? There's a story there.
So, as we're plowing through the Stanley Cup Final, Game 2 tonight, and I'm gearing up to start a new WIP (about an NHL team), I have only one thing left to say...
Go Canucks Go!