Hockey in the Mist (a.k.a. Stranger Things)

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This morning I woke up reflecting on yesterday and thought…  maybe it was a dream?

It’s December. The average temperature in Minnesota should be 21°F. Yet in my dream, I woke up to play Monday morning hockey with friends and my car said the temp was 51°F while I drove by open lakes covered with a mystical fog to the most magnificent outdoor hockey rink I had ever seen. The rink was full of merriment and wonder as I skated and laughed with my head in a fog. The laughter and “head in a fog” part is actually normal, but then I remembered scoring twice and grew suspicious.

So, rather confused, I looked outside my kitchen window and saw a totally normal December morning in Minnesota. My phone confirmed it was Tuesday, December 5, and the temp is 15°F.  I was convinced I had pulled a Rip Van Winkle and dreamt through an entire day, but then the phone rang and I knew the dream was real. The writers from LA have found my blog again and are producing the long awaited sequel to Gorillas in the Mist. It is with great excitement I announce:

Great Moments – Great Opportunities

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January can be crazy for any hockey mom, let alone a hockey playing mom. Hopefully you caught the unveiling of the Herb Brooks statue.

For those not from Minnesota, Herb Brooks was the legendary coach of the 1980 Olympic team where he led a team of scrappy young men to beat the Russians and go on to win gold. Brooks tragically died in 2003 at age 66, but his legend as a coach and a man will forever permeate ice rinks everywhere.

A new improved 10-foot Herb Brooks statue was unveiled January 18, replacing the original smaller version near Rice Park and the Excel Energy Center in St Paul, MN.

Much like the statue, Herb Brooks was bigger than life. It’s fun to think of all the NHL players that cross Rice Park in the Minnesota winters to be greeted by Herb as they enter the Excel.  Brian Murphy from the Pioneer Press covered the event nicely in his article, “Herb Brooks’ legend, like his new St. Paul statue, is larger than ever.”

Mark Rosen of WCCO news, also paid a nice tribute to Brooks the night of the unveiling with John Harrington. The Rosen interview is particularly impactful, as Harrington was part of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” team and knew Herb Brooks personally as the great coach and great person that he was.

Brooks was a man who transcended his own bench. His passion, inspiration and integrity live on. Without even realizing it, every hockey player at every level carries a little of his influence. Even those who haven’t watched “Miracle” have heard, “The name on the front is more important than the name on the back,” or “Great moments are born from great opportunity.”

In honor of Coach Brooks, I’d like to share a few of his quotes and challenge each of us, on and off the bench, to set goals, push ourselves a little harder, and prepare for your moment:

  • “You can’t be common, the common man goes nowhere; you have to be uncommon.”
  • You must have goals in your life, or otherwise be prepared to be used by those who do have them.”
  • Success is won by those who believe in winning and then prepare for that moment. Many want to win, but how many prepare? That is the big difference.”

Let me start with issuing you a challenge; Be better than you are. Set a goal that seems unattainable, and when you reach that goal, set another one even higher.

-Herb Brooks

I am a Mom, a Hockey Mom, and a Hockey Playing Mom. I also dabble in Social Media Marketing and occasionally display flashes of viral activity spawned by moments with friends, a little ice, and all things crazy. Feel free to reach out or connect at @mn_ellis

You Might Be Playing Hockey with a Bunch of Moms If…

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In my game last night, my linemate returned to the bench, gasped for air, plopped by my side, and angrily muttered, “Fudge.” Yes, she really said, “Fudge” and not Fu@#.  I cracked up, reflected on my hockey career, and thought it was time to acknowledge stereotypes about Minnesota hockey playing moms.

There are obvious things that jump to mind, like broken nails and helmet hair. But seriously, when we leave it’s no different than a non-hockey playing mom’s Barre class. It’s just our workout bags are a little bigger, and our workout friends a little cooler. We occasionally break a nail and/or lose a hair scrunchy. It’s just not that weird.

But, to the point about my “cool friends,” most of the women I play hockey with are moms who share these, “Oh Fudge” moments. Even I stop and crack up from time to time when I witness these events.

So, here’s my Top 10 list of signs you’re playing hockey with a bunch of moms:

  1. If you’re playing hockey and hear someone curse, “Rats” or “Fudge,”
    …you might be playing hockey with a bunch of moms.
  2. If your locker room floor is covered with cute little bath mats to keep your feet dry,
    …you might be playing hockey with a bunch of moms.
  3. If your teammate stops to ensure a fallen opponent is OK before continuing play,
    …you might be playing hockey with a bunch of moms.
  4. If the only fans in the stands are unsupervised pre-teens playing on their phones,
    …you might be playing hockey with a bunch of moms.
  5. If it’s normal for one of the best players you know to walk into a locker room with a bucket of homemade sweater mittens,
    …you might be playing hockey with a bunch of moms.
  6. If your team puck bag is a “Hello Kitty” backpack,
    …you might be playing hockey with a bunch of moms.
  7. If your tournament tailgate includes humus and fruit kabobs,
    …you might be playing hockey with a bunch of moms.
  8. If your idea of chirpin’ the opposing team includes going “Pintrest” on a bag of candy,
    …you might be playing hockey with a bunch of moms.
  9. If your team emergency bag includes sanitizers for stinky hands and germy mouth guards,
    …you might be playing hockey with a bunch of moms.
  10. And if your mom returns from her game with a giant box of Holiday cookies,
    …you might suddenly remember how much you love having a hockey playing mom.

So, to ALL my hockey friends (moms, and those that tolerate our momness), I left last night’s game with a huge smile, reflecting on how lucky I am to have friends like you. We’ve shared many laughs, and sadly many life tears. What a present it has been to have you in my life.

Happy Holidays to all, and may your 2017 be filled with continued laughs, love, and hockey playing moms!