• Spirit of Hockey

My Poem About Anxiety, By Louise Rhys-Davies, BHHC

As I walk through the carpark, kit on, stick in hand
Dodging past people as they stand
Walking to the familiar green of the Astro
Not sure how I’m feeling, not sure if I want to stay or go
The team have all started, I am late again
Pushback was 10 minutes ago at half past 10
If I could have sped up getting ready I would

But the anxiety swelling in me preventing me from being where I should
But I am here and ready to go
Just keep your distance on the side-line. Though it seems strange I know
 Because once I am on the pitch running, it’s hard to see
But once I’m running right there in that moment I’m free
The ball moves so fast I haven’t the time
I try to catch it but it crosses the line

The calls for the ball or the player to defend
Out there on the pitch my brain does not have time to send
Send message of worry, of trouble and strife
Send the message to trigger the anxiety that has been so rife
Anxiety that has gripped my whole mind and body too
A thought or a feeling that engulfs and smothers you
Stops you from thinking clearly and concise
Stops you from getting the best out of life
But here I am on the hockey pitch again
Waving from a distance to a familiar friend
Running for a ball that I hope I can stop
Running to block a player, I’m feeling on top
On top of the game of hockey I play

On top of the anxiety that is being held at bay
Gone are the shackles that contain me
Running back for a short corner, I am who I want to be
My mind is busy watching, waiting, surveying
But happy busy, away from the anxiety that’s braying
My chest heaves as I’m not used to the pace
The game is quick, body will ache but it’s an ache I will face

Face with relish and happy thoughts
And how I made it, I played it and the battle to turn up I had fought
But I won the battle of the day
And it meant that I got out the pitch to the hockey to play
On this pitch I share with my team of 11 and some
A quiet understanding and support I never anticipated would come
So thank you to that little stick and ball
And that pitch of green for easing the disquiet in my mind that cannot be seen
And thank you to the people that have helped me to play even though I was late on many a day
Thanks to those who coach and those behind the scenes
With the commitment and work to provide a game not known to somewhat importance it means

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