Okay, enough with the pep talks. It's clear that I'm the one shaking in my boots, and no amount of pretending will change that, so today, I thought I'd talk about some hockey.
I've discovered that I can't just compartmentalize myself. I can't only be one person for one set of people, which means I still talk science with all my writer people and writing with all my science people. And worse, today I'm going to write about hockey.
Long ago, in galaxy far far away (Southern California), I started playing hockey. When I first started, I was, shall we say, enthusiastic. Maybe my enthusiasm outpaced my skill set, and I fell down a lot (I know this sounds like the warm up to pep talk, but trust me, it isn't). My eager attempts to score a goal were often, well, comical. I actually have some video of my very first team, and there's a great scene where the whole forward line went for the puck and crashed together. They all fell down, and that clip of video (I should post it, it's hilarious) sums up the whole shenanigans of my first ice hockey team. I scored one goal that season, and it was because the goal tender was laughing too hard to actually net mind. Yeah, seriously, he was laughing so hard he didn't care if we scored, that should tell you about this "great" team I was on.
But I did get something great out of the season (other than a sense of humility): a nickname. In adult rec hockey (commonly known as a beer league, I'm sure you can figure out why), most people skate with a nickname on their jersey. I regularly skate with the likes of Captain Obvious, Mr. Pickles, Worm, and Sniper. As you can tell, name choosing is a big deal. Some of the people I skate with don't know my name. And no one uses my name on the ice. They all call me Crash, and it is (or at least was) well deserved.
You see, there's a term for a style of offense, where the forwards "crash" the net. If you think of this term as it was intended, like say, crashing a party, or going somewhere despite not being invited, then you'll understand the true meaning of the phrase. I, however, have always been just a tad literal minded, so when the referee called a stoppage to fish myself, two defensemen, a goaltender and a puck out of the net--which had come to a rest along the back wall--he said "You know, crash is only a euphemism."
My team captain heard it and of course laughed, and I've been Crash ever since.