Riding in METAL

I grew up playing a lot of hockey.  From the time I was in 4th grade until I was in 11th grade, you would find me at Lakeland Arena during the winter months.  Anymore, the only time I play hockey is the annual ECE Faculty vs. Students game.  It’s always a blast to get suited up and hit the ice again.  It’s also humbling to remember just how limited your field of view is with that helmet on.  It’s easy to sit in the stands at the Michigan Tech games with your bird’s eye view of the whole rink and be the armchair coach.  I ended up playing center for the whole game, a position that I didn’t play very much growing up.  I was almost always a left wing or left defenseman.  My face-off skills are practically non-existent.  I won exactly one of the 12 or more face-offs I took.  Oh well.  I got a few good scoring chances in, had a good time and my son was excited to see me out on the ice.  It’s a good deal.

The only bad part is that I always go out there and skate like I do it every day.  Then I spend the next two days hobbling around because I’ve exhausted muscles that I don’t normally use.  I played on Saturday and couldn’t get back on the treadmill until Tuesday night.

I don’t think it was until I started following Elden “Fatty” Nelson’s blog at FatCyclist.com that I really got to know the guys at TwinSix.com.  They had done some wonderful work for Fatty, and I kept hearing about their donations to Livestrong.  However, I don’t know that I really started to get into their stuff until when Elden’s wife passed and they put the most poignant image on their homepage.  They eventually put it on a t-shirt:


There’s a lot of history in the image that I won’t go into here.  But it was, at the time, incredibly moving.  What got me about that was that Susan passed away at the same time my uncle did.  They were both taken by cancer.  Suddenly I noticed there were all sorts of really cool things that Twin Six made.  And in the last year, I have acquired way too much Twin Six stuff.  I usually got a really good deal, so there’s that.

But last Friday they posted a solicitation for people to hook up with Team Twin Six. With as much stuff as I’ve bought from them recently, it sounded like something I’d dig.  So I submitted my application and got accepted! I don’t know exactly what the benefits are, but I think it involves some free stuff and getting a chance to justify wearing Twin Six stuff all the time.  The thing I hope they’ll still have is the METAL Skinsuit for ‘cross next year.

I’ve been spending a lot of time writing, pulling together our church’s Christmas program.  Now that I’m in the third year of doing this, I sympathize a lot more with the eternal pastor’s dilemma: putting a fresh twist on Christmas year after year.  In some ways, it makes your appreciation of the subject matter grow.  In other ways, you feel bad just feeling like there needs to be a “fresh twist” on such a momentous, miraculous event in the first place.

As our semester draws to a close, I look forward to a week of absolute craziness and then some time off.  It will be good to spend some time with the family, get some sleep and to get back to a semester where I’m not developing fresh material for two classes.  It’s also been really cold out (single-digits), and I’m looking forward to some time just sitting by the fire.

One positive thing is that most of my Christmas shopping is done.  I feel like I got a good start on it this year.

After a few weeks off, I’m starting to get more of an urge to ride my bike.  I wonder how much a Mukluk costs?


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