In life, protection is the thing everyone searches for, they feel keen when they have it, and show a sense of fear when they are missing it. Humans usually tend to protect things in which they care for deeply, so to say love, whether those things are materialistic or not is a different story.
In my life, I feel as though I become close to many people and many things, so my sense of protection over those things in tremendous. In my eyes though, I tend to protect a certain group of people the most over everyone, which would be my families. Now I say families, because I feel as though I have two families, both my blood family, aunts uncles mom dad etc., whom I love deeply, and my hockey family, or in layman’s terms my team.
I believe that anyone who has played some sort of team sport, or even a club consisting of a team knows the bond that is built between that group, and I feel as though in a competitive contact sport the idea of protect pops up frequently. The opportunity where there is a need for protection, at least for me, comes up a lot more when with my hockey family, instead of my actual family. There are many of times in which situations come up on the ice where I feel the need to protect my line mates, everything from cheap shots, to poor choices in words, it just comes up more frequently.
It was a brisk November morning, around seven thirty. I was sitting in the passenger seat of a big red 2001 Dodge Ram pick up truck. We were flying down the expressway, it was a Saturday morning, so the roads were basically empty. I was on my normal pregame routine, headphones in blasting songs by Notorious B.I.G and Joey Badass and looking out the window. It felt like it was going to be a normal game, but you can never actually know. I got to the rink a little before everyone, which wasn’t anything new. I continued on with my routine, I got my golf ball out of my bag and headed down the hallway to the spot in which the stored the nets. I always work on my hands before games, it's just something to pass the time.
Eventually the rest of the team arrived to the rink, we did our pre game as a team, which was just a little soccer warm up consisting of us getting in a big circle in attempts to keep the ball in the air and then we got dressed and hit the ice. We skated our warm up, and everyone seemed to be feeling good.
The puck dropped and we were off, I remember fondly how quickly that game moved, not many stoppages, it was a solid flowing game. My line hit the ice and scored the one and only goal of the game late in the second period. We were flying up the ice on a break out, I took noticed of the pinching defenseman, and bolted to the open ice, calling out for the puck. I received a perfect pass and thought I was gone, until I realized that the other defenseman kept up with me. I turned my head and noticed my line mate Jimmy who put it in the net. We celebrated and went back to the bench. After that the game continued to flow. About three or four shifts later, something happened in which I do not think I will ever forget.
We were coming down the ice, it was a quick shift so I was not playing with my line at the time. I rushed into the zone, screaming for a pass. Louie, the one with the puck, tried to dish me the pass, but instead lost it in his skates. He looked down for a split second, but that split second was all it took. Someone on the other team came charging in, with an elbow out, drove louie to the boards, head first, concussing him and eventually keeping him out of the game for weeks. Anyway, this is where I came in, I flew into the pack, in which grouped up because of the hit. I went in for one reason and one reason only, to take care of the kid who laid the hit, but so did everyone else on the team. It relates back to the idea of family and protection. Everyone felt the need to protect him, because we all care deeply about him, he is a teammate, a good friend, and a family member, and nobody likes to see a family member get taken out. When telling this story, it always reminds me of a main key in the story, The yellow birds written by Kevin Powers. The key point I am speaking of is the promise that the main character Bartle made to Murphy's mom, that promise being that he will protect Murph at all costs, because he feels a great connection with both murph and murphy's mother.
Anyway back to the story, I came in a grabbed someone, at this point I was just trying to hold others back, because one of my teammates had already taken care of the kid who I wanted. I had grip on a kid who did not seem to want any parts of anyone except me. He turned around and starting pushing me and trying to throw punches. I did not really want to fight him, or anyone for that matter, so I just did what I usually do, and try to pull a penalty out of the mix by saying things to get him even more mad. I started to talk and next thing I knew I was on the ice face down. I opened my eyes and nobody was around anymore, They were all skating back to there respected benches. I got up, with a little help from the boards and skated back to my bench, I remember suddenly having a brutal pounding headache, but I was still curious as to what happened.
When I got back to my bench, all of my teammates were talking about how they got him, and saying his number over and over, “it was 30, I got 30.” I was still confused so I asked my linemate what was going on. He looked at me with an extremely puzzled look on his face and said “dude he punched you in the back of your head.” And from there everything started to make more sense.
This is another example of the idea of protection, as I spoke about earlier. They all gained a sense of protection over me when I was hit and therefore defenseless.
Now even though there are not exactly spoken promises in my life, especially my hockey life, I feel as though it is one of those things in which is unspoken, but known. It is almost as if it is an unwritten rule. As I said before, it all comes with the bond in which the team builds from playing together and spending so much time with each other.
The amount of protect within the world is crazy, the amount of people who protect others, guardian angels so to say are a great thing. In life people always will be there to protect you, and that is something in which I believe should never be forgotten, but you should also remember that you need to have a sense of protection for those whom you care about, like your family.