Having been born and raised in Montreal, childhood memories involve what seemed like mini-mountain ranges lining the streets providing great climbing opportunities for the agile and fleet of foot. I recall going to a school in a neighbouring suburb almost two miles away however, there was a short cut through the woods that was just a mile and I would sometimes hike home, even when I had to trudge through thigh-high snow. I had a propensity then to push myself physically, a little further, a little faster.
From the age of 12 to 16 I played Ringette, mainly on outdoor rinks and it did get cold. I don’t remember any game cancellations due to cold, rather the opposite, when the temperature was too high to produce a reasonable ice surface. After a couple of years, neighbouring municipalities started Ringette leagues on indoor rinks and my best ringette buddy and I joined another league. The fun came when we ended up on the all-star teams for both towns. We chose to play for the weaker team although I had a ball because I got to play forward, rather than my usual defence position.
In those days there was no such thing as a girls hockey league, Ringette was the adapted ice sport, suitable for girls. The only girls who wore hockey skates then were a couple of girls who had serious hockey playing dads, the daughter of professional hockey player, Fleming McKell for instance. The rest of us wore figure skates and we filed the toe picks off.
I started out as a goalie but did not particularly shine or enjoy the position. My brothers used to chant this, “Lynn, Lynn she’s so thin, she always lets the ring go in”. I was quite a fast skater and because of this my coaches always put me on defence because I had a knack for being in the right place, and could usually put on a burst of speed to get in the way of an opponent. In ringette at that time there was a weird rule that defence players could not go into the offensive zone. Very dull, to say the least. I hope they’ve changed that rule. Did you know that Canada has the highest number of ringette players, over 50,000!
I enjoyed today’s marvelous sun. I left the house in full winter gear, and ended up feeling quite overdressed. At least one can exercise some temperature control by removing a layer on a day like this. Which reminds me of when my son was in grade school and I would run by the school yard to make sure he was dressed properly on the really cold days, finding him at times playing in the schoolyard, having ditched his jacket.
I dread those stifling hot, muggy days of summer. Down by the lake, sun shining, winter white seems . . . quite alright.