Sometimes, against all odds, you get a do-over in life. A shot at an opportunity you never had, or maybe wouldn’t have been ready for anyway. I got just such a chance this year on the Dartmouth College Women’s Club Hockey Team.
Due to a dozen players studying abroad last fall (a quirky result of Dartmouth’s D-Plan), the Women’s Club Hockey team was reduced to 7 players. And, since Dartmouth’s Club Sports are open to students, faculty & staff, I’m eligible.
So, at 43 years old, I got my chance to play competitive hockey with women less than half my age in games against Harvard University, Endicott College (recap here), and the University of New Hampshire.
The highlight, though, was our away game against MIT in Boston.
With just 5 skaters (and a goalie), our club team boldly took on their full roster of 17 skaters (plus 2 goalies)… and TIED! We skated with NO SUBSTITUTES and found ourselves scoreless after 3 fifteen-minute periods.
We were delighted! …until the game went into overtime. (Overtime? Really??)
Five more minutes of intense effort, and still no one scored. When the final buzzer sounded, we celebrated the unlikely result, giddy with exhaustion.
It was the most improbable outcome in the most improbable game I have ever played. And I am so grateful I had the chance, grateful that these talented young women welcomed me on their team with open hearts.
As George Eliot put it, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”