Thursday night a few friends and I went to Beer & Bling, an event held at Working Silver, a silversmithing shop, where local jewelry makers were selling their wares while sampling some fine Steel & Oak beer, with beer proceeds going to the Arts Council of New Westminster1. And I have to say that the turnout was great, both the beer and the jewelry were excellent, and it appeared that lots of both were being sold!
My friend Heather stopped by on her way to dance class, my friends Kim and Cath came in from Vancouver (with poor Cath making an accidental side trip to Surrey because she was on an Expo Line instead of a Millennium Line train2.) and my friend Erin came over from Surrey. Cath did the lion’s share of her Christmas shopping, Kim did a mix of shopping for gifts for others and gifts for herself, and I bought one gift for someone else and a few things for me, and Erin got herself a ring plus a bunch of business cards so she can go check out the artists websites and spend some time deciding what to buy3
I can’t show you what I bought as a present lest the recipient be tipped off, but I can show you what I got for myself!
First I got myself a Christmas tree ornament:
It a Christmas tree to hang on the Christmas tree. Meta-Christmas, if you will.
And I also treated myself to this necklace and these earrings:
They kind of look like (a) you could do some serious damage with them in a street fight and (b) you could use them to ask Scotty to beam you up.
Full disclosure: I’m on the board of the Arts Council. [↩]
For those of you not from the Vancouver area, the Expo Line and the Millennium Line run the exact same route from Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver until they get to Columbia Station in New Westminster, at which point Millennium Line loops through New West and Burnaby, and back to Vancouver, whereas Expo Line crosses the river into Surrey. If you are Skytraining just within Vancouver and Burnaby, you don’t need to pay attention to which train you get on, so many a Vancouverite who ventures out into the ‘burbs has found themselves on the wrong Skytrain thinking “omg! Why are we going over a bridge???” [↩]
I don’t think Heather got anything, but I could be wrong. [↩]
VOKRA, the non-profit organization from which I adopted my kitties, has put out a plea for help. Vancouver has been experiencing an unusually long, hot summer and they are having difficulty keeping their operations centre – where the most vulnerable kitties (sick kitties, new moms and their kittens, and kitties waiting for a foster home) are – cool enough to keep the kitties safe and healthy. Someone donated an industrial air conditioner to them, but they need to raise $10,000 to have it installed.
At the time of writing, they’ve raised just over 1/3 of the money they need. And right now, if you donate, a generous donor will match that donation, up to $5,000. If you are interested in donating, click here!
When I first started fundraising for the Longest Game, the online system used for donations wasn’t equipped to provide us with the names of the people who were donating. Once we got an updated system, names of donors were published immediately on the fundraising page ((If the donor gave permission, that is!)) So while I know the majority of the people who donated – and I love you all more than you can know! – there are some people who donated who I just have no idea who they are!
My fundraising page lists “Anonymous Pledges prior to July 15, 2011” of “$587.60” – these are the donations received on the older system that didn’t give us names of donors. I know some of that money was from Sarah and some was from Dan, and some was from another friend (who wants to be anonymous), because I talked to all of them about it, and that some of it was from the, um, Electronic Device Buying Party for Charity that I held at my friend Lianna’s place. But I don’t know where the rest of it came from! Also, on the newer fundraising page, there is an “Anonymous,” a “DG,” and a “Vera Hossack” – I don’t know who these are either!
So, if you happened to donate some money to me and don’t see your name listed on my fundraising page (or you aren’t my “Fuck Yeah” donor – I know who *you* are!), please let me know (you can email me or use my contact page, if you aren’t comfortable with talking about your donation in the comments section)! I want to send a special thank you to all my fabulous donors and I can’t do that if I don’t know who you are. Also – you rock!
I’m sure I could probably blog about the game until the end of time! There were SO MANY times that something happened that I thought “I need to blog that,” but given that we had very little time to do anything other than eat, sleep & play, I didn’t get to blog most of them. Now that I’m slowly recovering from my sleep deprivation and have time on my hands to actually write about it, I’m going to try to remember as many of them as I can. Since I still can’t string together a coherent paragraph, though, you’ll have to accept it in bulleted list form.
My random thoughts:
There was a dent in centre ice from having dropped the puck more than 2,300 times over 10 days. Seriously.
I got two new nicknames during the course of the game. One was “The Hobbit” – because I would come into the rink from RV World wrapped in my blanket. It was just too damn cold to get out of my bed without my blanket. The other was “Timbit” – this was what Bree started calling Sarah Willie and I due to our short statures (and the fact that I play like a Timbit!).
The arena was freaking cold. Apparently they had to keep it that way in order to zamboni the ice is less than 10 minutes, which was the maximum amount of break time we were allowed according to Guinness rules. Freaking cold.
Scott liked all my witty tshirts. Every day he’s ask “What shirt do you have on today?” Over the course of the 10 days, I rocked such shirts as “I’m blogging this,” “Not that kind of doctor,” “Zombie Research Society” and, of course, “BETH HUNGRY.”
A lot of people have asked if we lost weight by playing so much hockey, but no one really seems to have lost much, if any. In fact, one of the women gained 12 lbs! When I got home after the game, I stepped on the scale and weighed exactly the same as when I left. However, when I stepped on the scale the next day, I was down 3 lbs. I’m pretty sure those 3lbs were 3 lbs of water that I’d been retaining in my sausage-like fingers after the game ended!
Weird things happened to all of our bodies over the course of ten days. I mean, there were lots of things you’d expect to happen from playing a ridiculous amount of hockey – blisters, bruises, a concussion, a torn MCL, swollen knees and such, but then there was weird stuff. For example, Bree randomly had a fat wrist. No pain, no particular reason and it was just one wrist. Why would water be retained just in one wrist? We have no idea. Later, the wrist went back to normal and one ankle got fat. Why? No clue. Frankie got TMJ. How does one get TMJ from playing hockey?? I stopped sweating after about day 5. That’s not normal when you play hockey.
The next time we do this, we should get some physiologists to follow us around to document the effects on our physiology. I think that would make an awesome journal article!
It’s now two days later and I’m still unable to rehydrate, despite drinking water all day long. It’s like the water just goes right through me and I’m still all dry mouthed and unhydratable!
Every person who has watched the clip of me on Breakfast Television has said to me, “You look really tired.”
My six year old niece watched the clip of me on Breakfast Television, which also had an interview with Desneige, who made a very striking piece of artwork featuring the syringes and pill casings of all the drugs that her young son, Beckett (who has CF), had to take in one year. After watching it, my niece said to my sister, “I think I should give my donation money to those kids. They need it.” And she got her jar that she saves money for donations in and counted up how much she had and she donated. What a sweet kid she is!
Very quickly after the game started, we lost all sense of time. By Day 2, all we knew was “It’s Day 2.” I could not have told you the date or even what day of the week it was, but I knew which of the 10 days we were on.
For the last two hours of the game, all 40 players were dressed and on the benches. It was the first time since the first hour of the game that we had more than one sub at a time! I was actually on the ice when we tied the record at 10 am. When we set our new record of 10 days, 3 hours and 5 minutes, I was standing by the door and thus would have been the next to go on – you know, like if the game had gone to overtime. =)
I remember when I was working on my PhD, when I got experimental results, I would sit for a moment and reflect on the fact that I was the only person on Earth who knew the fact that I had just discovered. It’s pretty staggering to think that out of more than 6 billion people, you are the only person who knows something. I can tell you that being one of only 40 people in history to have completed such a momentous feat is just as thrilling.
A little while ago, Dr. Dan wrote a posting about how he didn’t see himself as an athlete, despite all his running, biking, yoga-ing, etc.1. He is, of course, but he doesn’t see himself that way. I used to have that problem too, but I feel like completing this epic game has earned me the right to always and forever be able to call myself an athlete.
My final medical count:
fingers with skin that cracked right open: 4
major abrasions (i.e., ~1 inch x 1/2 inch): 2
I wasn’t too worried that I would get injured on the ice, but I was constantly worried that I would do something really stupid, like fall coming out of my RV or take a tumble down the stairs and break a bone. Because that would be such a Beth thing to do. I’m pretty surprised it didn’t happen, actually.
And here are a few funny quotations that I’ve meant to capture for posterity (I know there were a tonne more funny things that were said, but of course I can’t remember them now!):
“Taking off my skates feels better than sex.”
“Beth, you have such a nice personality, you could say the most asshole thing and people would just say, ‘Oh, I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way!'”
“I really hope this game doesn’t go into overtime!”
“Sleep deprivation, physical pain, and isolation. Isn’t that what people do to torture prisoners of war?”
I was known as the girl with the blog who was also constantly tweeting. A few days into the game, Sarah W said to me “You keep having real people come to visit you. I didn’t think Internet people had friends in real life. YOU ARE MAKING ME QUESTION ALL MY STEREOTYPES!!” A few days later, she asked me, “Are you friends with Miss 604?”, but when I replied “Yes,” she went, “Oh. I was being sarcastic.”
I’m sure I’ll remember more things I wanted to record for posterity sake, and I’ll add those later.
I’d link to the article, but I’m too tired to go searching for it [↩]
I can’t believe that the game ended just yesterday! When I was driving away from the rink yesterday, all I could think was, “Did I just dream that?” It was a truly surreal experience and if I didn’t have the blisters to prove otherwise, I would really be wondering!
I’m still pretty exhausted, even though I slept a full 8 hours last night after I had a 6 hour nap yesterday afternoon! I did, in fact, go to work today1, but I spent the entire day catching up on all the emails that came in while I was away, as well as making sure to take some breaks to stretch my legs. I don’t think it’s very good to go from 9 hours per day of intense physical activity to 0!
Anyway, while there is still so much more to say about the game, I’m too exhausted to say it all today, so instead I want to say a bunch of “thank yous.” I’m sure that I’m going to forget to thank someone because there were so many people that made this event possible and I’m still all sleep-deprived and not thinking straight, so please forgive me if I forget to thank you! In no particular order, I would like to thank:
Val Skelly, our fearless leader who came up with the idea for this game, who inspired us all to play for this cause that is so near and dear to her heart and worked so unbelievably hard to make her vision a reality. I will always be inspired by her leadership, her vision, her positivity and her great sense of humour!
The entire committee that organized this event. The amount of time and effort that went into pulling this off was astronomical and each and every one of the committee members was doing this on a voluntary basis, in addition to their already busy lives!
Meaghan Wong, one of the leads for the volunteers, who bent over backwards on an hourly basis to get the players whatever they needed or wanted to keep them going. From finding us pizza at 3 in the morning simply because I tweeted that we wanted some to having a physiotherapist come onsite to treat us on the Sunday of a long weekend, Meaghan was an absolute rock star!
Jen Graham, another one of the lead volunteers, who was also always bending over backwards to help out the players, whether it was getting us food, doing our laundry or putting up inspiration sticky notes in the dressing room2.
Brian Wong, our chef extraordinaire, who kept 40 very hungry athletes fed at all hours of the day and night for 10 solid days, accommodating us in every way and always making sure that the players came first!
Scott Tait, the organizer of RV World3, the keeper of the score and the playing schedules, the chauffeur to the hospital for injured players, the man who found players to fill in when the injured/sick players couldn’t keep going, and I’m sure many other tasks that I didn’t even know of. And he never once got annoyed when I continually asked him, “How many goals have I scored now, Scott?”
All the massage therapists who also donated their time to keep the players able to move. As with the physiotherapy, I don’t think I could have made it without my hip flexors being stretched out and my psoas muscle being released!
The zamboni drivers, who managed to clean the ice in record time, sometimes as fast as six and half minutes (instead of the usual 10:15) so that we could meet the Guinness Record requirements of no more than 10 minutes break after every hour of play.
The refs who volunteered their time to come out to the rink at all hours of the day and night, working in 4 hour shifts in our freezing cold arena, getting many a blister themselves, to make sure that the game could go on!
Tash & Jamie, our bootcamp trainers. I don’t think anyone else could have gotten me to “sprint” that mile twice a week! Thanks for your patience with us!
All of the many, many volunteers who made this event possible. Whether it was blowing the beloved/despised air horn to ensure we kept to the rigid playing/ice cleaning break schedule required by Guinness, serving us our meals, going on Tim Horton’s runs to get us a caffeine fix, staffing the reception desk/security/silent auction, provided us with much needed first aid for our many wounds, or doing a myriad of other behind the scenes tasks, we could not have achieved this momentous accomplishment without your support. I was especially touched by the families who came out to volunteer – it was so amazing to see kids out volunteering with their parents – such an amazing thing for parents to instill volunteerism into their children’s lives. Special thanks to my friends who came out to volunteer – Lianna, Krista Lee, Ryan, and Sandy, you all rock my world!
All the families with CF who came out to support and encourage us. Your words moved us deeply and helped keep us grounded as to why we were doing this crazy thing in the first place. When the sleep-deprivation and the pain got bad, it was so important to hear your words to remind us that what we were doing was so much bigger than ourselves and quickly made us realize that while we were suffering, it was very minor compared to what CF patients and their families go through. Your strength gave us strength.
All my friends who came to visit me. You provided me with such strength and many laughs and made it possible for me to keep going, because I knew you were behind me all the way. In addition to Lianna, Krista Lee, Ryan and Sandy, there was Heather, Kalev, Linda, Casey, Chris, Deb, Candace, Roger, Hannan, Henley, Monica, Erika, Paul, Tanis, Matt4, Kim, Lance, Martha, Andrew, Joanie, Clayton, Sheri & Lindy – your presence at the game means more to mean than I can ever express. Heather, Chris & Deb, and Erika, the cookies, cake and brownies that you baked for me and my fellow players were absolutely delicious and very much appreciated! Kalev, Joanie & Martha, the medical supplies (and the mocha from Martha!) you brought were life savers! Clayton, the Timmy Ho’s coffee that you brought me before my final 4 hour session pepped me up like I cannot even explain! Lianna & Krista Lee, who brought me more things than I can even remember, from medical supplies to blankets to chocolate milk and diet Pepsi to a McDonald’s breakfast, I owe you both big time!
All my friends who could not be with me in person, but who kept supporting me from a far. My parents who watched the livestream of the game pretty much 24/7; my sister Nancy who did as well and whose constant stream of text messages supporting and encouraging me; Dan, who also watched and whose tweets kept my spirits up; and Sarah who also watched the livestream constantly5 and whose brilliant idea to donate $1 per goal I scored6 then inspired *six* other people to do the same!
All the people who donated to my fundraising efforts – currently at $4,131.72 and counting! You helped me surpass my fundraising goal and you have truly made a difference in the lives of people living with CF.
All of my amazing teammates, on both the White and the Red Teams. We were all in this together and I know that I have made 39 amazing life-long friends!
As I said above, I’m sure that I’m completely forgetting to thank people because there were so many people that supported us in this epic event. If I remember anyone that I forgot to thank, I’ll add them to the list!
Also, I have to say that I am absolutely in love with the song “Barbra Streisand” by Duck Sauce. I don’t think I’d ever heard it before the game7, but it was played many times during the game and was an awesome song to skate to!
This morning at 11:05 am, 39 of my closest friends and I made ourselves a part of Canadian history. At that moment, we completed a 243 hour and 5 minute game of hockey – the longest ever in the history of the world! We are the “unofficial” world record holders for the moment – we have to wait for the people at Guinness to review all the footage and the log books and such before we get certified as the “official” world record holders. But we know we did it – and we have the blisters to prove it!
I’ve just woken up from a 6 hour nap – in my own bed! After taking a hot shower – in my own shower! After enjoying a well-earned beer with Lianna and Kim – in my own living room! Sorry, I’m just a little bit excited at having been released from the compound to which I’ve been confined, in accordance with Guinness World Record rules, for the last 11 days.
I will blog more about all of this later – I’m still physically and mentally exhausted and it’s a bit hard to type since my fingers are blistered and cracked and swollen. I’m going to get some cold ice packs out of the freezer to replace the ones I was using to ice my hands while I napped so I can continue to ice my hands while I sleep!
But I do want to say a quick “thank you” to everyone who provided me with so much support over the last eleven days. To all the people who sent me text messages, emails, tweets, and Facebook messages with words of encouragement and who came to visit me during my captivity, bringing me much needed supplies from the outside world, along with hugs!: I’ll never be able to express just how much your support meant to me. I could not have gotten through this grueling experience without you! You kept me going when the times were hard, when the exhaustion set in and the pain felt like it was too much to bear and it seemed like the game would never end. And when the times were good, and I was just flying down the ice, scoring goal after goal, and having an absolute blast with some of the most amazing women I’ve ever had the honour to play with, it made it that much sweeter to be able to share it with you!
So, yes, I’ll blog more when I’m less exhausted because I have so much to share about the experience. But before I go back to sleep, I have to answer the question that I know you are all dying to know: Despite the pain and the exhaustion, I do still love hockey. And I’ll be back at it just as soon as these blisters heal!
So, we’ve been playing hockey for nine days straight now. Personally, I’ve played 81 hours of hockey so far. EIGHTY-ONE, y’all1)! And I have six hours left to play before this game is done! Here’s the deal:
I play my last regular 4 hour shift from midnight to 4 am tomorrow (i.e., Monday… i.e., about 3 hours from now)).
At ~9 am, all 40 players will be dressed and play out the remainder of the game together (i.e., instead of our usual one sub on the bench, we’ll have full lines of players).
at 10 am, we will break the record for the longest ever game of hockey in the history of the world!
at 11:05 am, the final horn will sound to end the game!
We are almost there. So close, I can taste it!
And so now these signs, which have been really helping get me through the days, are that much sweeter:
Also, I have to share this with you – an adorable little girl named Emma, who has Cystic Fibrosis, made hearts for all the players with various sayings on them – things like “Let’s find a cure!” and “Keep Going!” This is the one that I got and it’s totally, imho, the best one2:
And so, as we go into the final hours of the game, please donate. For Emma. For Beckett. And for the thousands of others who have Cystic Fibrosis. The money you donate will go to research which will make their lives better.
And people on Team Red have played even more than that, as they’ve had more injuries (and thus the remaining players have had to pick up more of the time to cover for the injured players. [↩]
The Longest Game of Hockey for CF couldn’t happen without our sponsors. And since our sponsors are giving to help us make the game a success, I figured I should give back a little and tell you all about who our sponsors are!
Canlan Ice Sports is providing us with our home for the 10-days – Burnaby 8 Rinks. The rink, dressing rooms, laundry facilities, part of the parking lot for us to park the RVs in, and a common room for the players to relax in are being donated by Canlan.
Save on Foods is donating all the food for the players. And, as my post yesterday demonstrated, we are going to need a lot of food, so this is a pretty awesome donation! You should say “thank you” to Save on Foods by buying your groceries there1
I’d also like to thank everyone who has donated to my fundraising efforts so far – you can see an up-to-date list on my donation page, although some of the names (like Sarah & Dave & Dan & Heather & Krista Lee & a bunch of other people who I don’t even know about) aren’t on there because they donated before we got the new online donation system set up. You are all amazing and I shall give you a big hug when I see you! For those who haven’t, there’s still time to donate! Hint, hint.
I highly recommend the flax buns from their bakery – they are a staple in my lunches on days when I don’t have leftovers for lunch, because there is a Save On really close to my office and those buns are So. Freaking. Good!! [↩]
I know that times are tough and lots of people are competing for your charitable donations, so I think I need to up the ante a bit. I need to offer something more than just my undying gratitude. But what to offer?
I could offer to write a blog posting about whatever you want. I could offer to wash your car. I could offer to bake you cookies! But really, I guess what I need to know is what you’d actually want, potential donor. What do you want??
Actually, I have made one deal with someone – basically, I agreed to do something that someone has been bugging me to do for *ages* in exchange for a donation…. (Nothing like *that*! Get your mind of the gutter!) And it gave me the idea that if I could bribe one person, why not many?
So make me an offer, blog reader. Comment, email me, Facebook me, tweet @ me, text me, or send me snail mail or a messenger pigeon to let me know what you want me to do in exchange for a donation. No reasonable offer will be refused!