Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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why i wasn’t running

This weekend was the Eskilstuna quarter marathon. It has gone by different names, so for now I’ll call it å-varvet, since that’s what it was called at one point in time. If not currently. I’m not feeling up to checking. Feel free to do so and let me know.

This weekend I did not join the over 2,300 people running the quarter marathon because of my shoulder injury. (Yes, I looked up that number, and yes, this year it was called å-loppet, so that’s all cleared up.) Unfortunately I have yet to be cleared to run. As you may recall from my Ode to Elizabeth I have injured my shoulder playing hockey, and it has taken a while to heal up. Either it has taken a while or I’m incredibly inpatient. The physical therapist I met with last Thursday would have me believing the latter. He really emphasized the fact that this type of shoulder injury will take time to heal.

Time heals all wounds.

Blah-de-blah-blah. Sure, whatever. I’m ready to be healed now. I know I can’t be the only person to think this, but when ever I’m injured. Or have a paper cut or something. All I can do is focus on the injury. Imagining the sweet good ol’ days pre-stubbed toe, for example. I wallow in the fact that when I’m whole and healthy I never appreciate it. I mean really appreciate it. I squander away my days it pain-free ignorance of how good I have it. Then I scrape my knee or accidentally slice open my thumb while trying to be a good wife and cook dinner for once, and I’m once again wallowing in self-pity land, reminiscing on how good I had it just yesterday before I sliced through half my thumb nail.

What I’m getting at is I really wanted to run on Saturday. The medals had a purple ribbon this year. Purple guys! But I couldn’t because it hurts to run. And according to my physio I’m not allowed to do anything that hurts me. Clearly I’m paying these medical professionals appropriately for some great counseling here.

å-loppet

Guess I’ll have to wait for next year until my two medals can become three, and I can attempt to check off number 13 on my 30 before 30 list. Knock on wood.

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another season come and gone

Not only is it officially spring, but the hockey season has officially ended.

If you haven’t read my previous hockey update, check it out here. We had our last playoff games this past weekend. Although we didn’t quite get the results we were hoping for, we still had some successes along the way. Here were the results:

final standings

We came in 7th place. It would have been great to be one of the four teams moving up to Riksserien, the highest women’s league in Sweden, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us this year. But, like I said there were some positive aspects of our play. We won 2 games, and tied 2, winning 1 game in over time. Against the team that has played their season completely undefeated, Djurgården, we were the only team in kvalserien to score against them in both games in playoffs, scoring one goal each time we played them. We were also the only team to win a period against Djurgården in the entire playoff series, our third period in the second game against them we won 1-0. We took points from Sundsvall, winning in overtime our first game against them. We worked hard, but most importantly we came together as a team.

We played with determination and heart. Although we didn’t achieve all of our goals, and while it is difficult to be completely satisfied placing 7th in the standings it’s important to focus on the forward strides we did make. Live and learn.

damlag_4x3_bakgr

Here’s looking forward to what next season will bring, and all the hard work to come during the off-season.

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kvalserien

I scrolled through my posts for the past 7 months and found, to my surprise, that I haven’t written a single one about hockey this season. If anybody else is keeping track, this is my 14th season playing the sport.

As I scrolled I noticed how updated I kept you all last season, so I hope you’ll feel the love again as I summarize the 2014-2015 season for ya.

This year the team I played on last year (Linden) joined up with another team in Södermanland (kind of like a county in Sweden), that team is Södertälje Sportklubb. We joined our forces to create SSK/Linden, and my oh my was that a good decision. The resulting team has more players, more talent, and I’d like to think more fun. It’s a totally different environment from last year, where there are always a good number of girls at the practice and practices are high intensity and focused. (Okay, mostly focused.) With so many players we’ve also been able to play four lines all season, which is a great advantage over teams who are forced to play with many fewer players.

IMG_5585

Officially, according to the Swedish Icehockey Association (Svenska Ishockeyförbundet or SIF), we’re only allowed to play under one club name, so on their standings we’re listed as SSK.

image courtesy of the app by swehockey.se

image courtesy of the app by swehockey.se

It has been quite the adventure joining two teams together, but it has paid off in game play as we’ve finished the regular season in second place. Our regular season ended the Wednesday before last with a win, and we’re continuing on to play offs.

Playoffs start TODAY. You read that right, to-day. Playoffs consist of game play across Sweden against one team from the Southern region, one team from the Northern region, one team from the Western region, and two other teams from the Eastern region. We’re the third team from the Eastern region. The two teams that placed last and second to last in Sweden’s highest women’s league, Riksserien, join us as well in playoffs.

The schedule is broken up into three games a week in 30 days. We play Saturday & Sunday, as well as one week day game. All eight teams are competing for four spots in Riksserien. These four spots are two more than any other year, as this season SIF has decided to increase the number of teams in Riksserien from 8 to 10.

The eight teams playing in the play offs have until January 31st to finalize their roster. This means that up until three weeks ago teams were recruiting. Many of the teams in playoffs now knew they would be playing in this league a while back so they have planned accordingling and brought some “fresh legs” to their teams. In the past this has provided for exciting game play as teams no longer have the same composition they had during regular season play.

Who knows what will happen once game play begins?! Things will be exciting. Guaranteed.

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sweden : portugal :: zlatan : ronaldo

The other day the idrottsgalan was on television. That’s Athletics Gala for all you non-Swedish speakers out there. Where the athletes of Sweden are awarded prizes and it is broadcast on television.

Evelina really wanted to see it because a friend of hers was there. A friend and former teammate. The captain of the Swedish Women’s National ice hockey team. Fancy. We turned the TV on just in time, as she was being interviewed.

At this Gala Zlatan Ibrohimavic was up for a number of awards. He wasn’t actually there, so this picture showed up on the screen a lot:

picture found here

picture found here

Seeing Zlatan reminded me of a time when the hockey team I play for worked at an event. We work at various events in order to earn money for our team. To pay for bus trips and such. The event was a soccer game, and yes Zlatan was on the field. It was a match up between Sweden and Portugal. Or, as many sports news outlets discussed, a competition between Zlatan Ibrohimovic (of Sweden – if that wasn’t yet clear), and Christiano Ranaldo (of Portugal).

picture found here

picture found here

Now, I don’t claim to know very much about soccer (also known across the world as football). To be honest, before the game at The Globe in Stockholm, I didn’t even know what Christinao Ronaldo looked like. The only thing I knew about him was that one of the children at my pre-school claims to be his brother. (They don’t share a last name, so I have my doubts.)

Globen - Zlatan & Ronaldo

After seeing him in person though, on the field, looking smoking. I think I may have my first crush on a soccer player. (Sorry Beckham.) This athlete is good looking, to say the least. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about his Swedish counterpart. I enjoyed working the game, and getting peeks at the play on the field. As well as standing field-side. (Do they say that in soccer? My goal was to apply “court-side” to soccer.) Live soccer is actually relatively exciting. I can see why so many people are absolutely insane about it. Alright, maybe there should be a limit to the insanity…but then it wouldn’t be insanity, would it?

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what have i done?!

Do you ever ask yourself, in a panicked squeak, what have I done?

I keep asking myself this. In a panicked squeak in my mind. Why am I repetitively asking myself this? Because I have done something. Something I am not so sure about.

Yes, I question my motives. I question my decision making skills. My sanity.

I have signed up for a marathon. A long marathon. I’ve heard they’re 26.2 miles. That’s 42.2 kilometers. That’s far.

In preparation for my training I have turned to the internet. The internet can solve all your problems. I have learned this. I am here to pass on the knowledge. Surprisingly enough I have not found the perfectly tailored marathon training program to fit all my personal and individual needs. As previously mentioned on this blog I am an active hockey player. This means a schedule of three ice practices and two games per week, starting this week and continuing until the end of February. However, the fact of the matter is, today marks 140 days until the ASICS Stockholm Marathon. So it is training time. Time to go. It was time to go yesterday.

pre-marathon training

I got this t-shirt for marathon training activities. Hopefully I’ll look fitter once the training commences. (Yes, I was paid less for this photo since my face is cropped out.)

I just don’t know how to swing it.

Balancing hockey training and marathon training is going to be quite the act.

Tune in to see how I handle it.

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video killed the radio star

A couple of weeks ago I was singing this song to my self. Over and over again as I walked down the road from work to Sörmlands radio station. I only know the one line, so really I was just singing “video killed the radio star” over and over again, and dancing like MC Hammer as I went.

Evelina and I appeared on Swedish public radio. I say appeared because it sounds like we have been long-awaited guests. Or that we’re super cool and interesting people who appear on the radio. Which we are.

We visited P4 to talk about hockey. Each week they have a contest where the listener is to guess which athletic activity is being referred to. Following the unveiling of the correct athletic pursuit, participants of that sport make an appearance on the show. The week Evelina and I made our appearance our sport was the sport in question.

P4 coffee

Evelina and I not only current players, but we also coach cute little kiddos how to skate on weekend mornings. We clearly like this stuff if we’re willing to give up our only two sleep in mornings for it. In hind sight I think we did well. We talked up our sport and discussed the differences between men’s and women’s hockey, we even got a word in on how inexpensive it is to start up and how children should come try it out. Over all, very successful.

If you’re dying to hear the interview here’s the link. Or if you’re just super curious about what I sound like in Swedish. Fast forward to about 2:39:00 if it doesn’t already start there.

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hockey underway!

This hockey season is officially under way, with 21 ice practices and 2 scrimmages now under our collective belts it’s finally starting to sink in.

Time to break in the new skates, and dust off the old equipment.

new skates

Time to see just how far you’ve come over the summer.

iworkout

With the start of this season I was thinking back to last season. How much fun we had, and what a great season it was. I’m looking forward to a new season.

go team go!

My stroll down memory lane even took a stop around last January, mid season, to when my brother came to visit.

Christmas 2012

Ryan came for his first Swedish Christmas last year. He was here in Sweden over New Years as well (for the second New Years in a row). While he was visiting he joined the team on the ice a couple times. First for what I’ll call a family night on ice. I’m calling it that mostly because it sounds incredibly fun!! Which it was. The team invited friends and family to join us on the ice. We split into six teams and scrimmaged each other on three mini-rinks. It was a ton of fun, and I was ecstatic that a member of my family was actually able to be there. I am so glad Ryan skated with us that night; a memory I will cherish forever.

The second time Ryan joined the team on the ice was supposed to be a practice time. But turns out it was a goalie, Evelina, Ryan and I, and one other player. We spent the night skating around on the outdoor rink. It was a great evening where Ryan got to demonstrate more of his hockey skills, as we did a few drills and played around in the fresh, freezing, Swedish winter night.

hockey night

It’s easy to say I’m excited for the upcoming season. But I’m even more excited for nights like that. Unexpected memories. With friends and family. Ryan, consider this your official invitation to Sweden this winter.

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