An Idiot’s Lament: Missing the Hilander Cup

It’s a grueling day on the ice, a test of wills, a test of stamina, a test of hamstrings and groins. Unfortunately, I already failed that test.

Today the Northern Door Broomball League crowns a new Hilander Cup champion. A single broomball game takes a toll on the body, but the tournament asks teams to play two or three games in a single day. It’s brutal, but a lot of fun. Today, I’m bummed because I won’t be taking on the challenge with my Pulse teammates. I injured my groin about a month ago filling in during a scrimmage at basketball practice (I coach the Gibraltar boys), then I chose to take the ice that night in our broomball game anyway, ignoring the perils of doing so on the flip side of 30.

The next day I was in a great deal of pain, struggling just to roll out of bed. I explained the injury to our athletic trainer, Bill Herbst, at Gibraltar before practice, hopeful he had an easy fix (Bill is a miracle worker with our athletes, so I had reason for optimism). He looked me straight in the eye, his trademark smirk on his face, and said simply, “Yeah Myles, ice sports generally aren’t good for pulled groins.”

It was his professional way of saying, “You’re an idiot.” I confirmed this diagnosis two weeks later by playing again, and hurting myself much worse. I haven’t been able to do anything athletic since.

Though broomball has beaten me up plenty in my 10 years in the league, I can’t resist its lure. It once cost me $3,200 in dental work (broomball sticks are hard, and feel even harder when they connect with your face. I know, who would have thunk it, right?). The last few weeks the game has made me feel about 20 years older than I am. Still, today I wish I were on the ice, flailing around, diving headlong on the slab, and hitting the boards.

Yes Bill, I’m an idiot.

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