First of all, hockey in Germany isn't as popular as in the USA or Canada, soccer is a bigger thing. It doesn't have a big fanbase but still many leagues and good talent with young players. The first league here is called the DEL (Deutsche Eishockey Liga – German Ice Hockey League), where mostly every big city has a team, such as Berlin, Munich or Cologne. Noticeable is, as I said before, the work with young players. The youth league is called the DNL, after which some guys decide to take a step and try to move to an American team or stay and get a contract at one of those more famous and good teams. For sure every hockey player here in Germany chases the same dream: to have the chance to play one day in America. So does my boyfriend.
For half a year now I am a hockey girlfriend, I started watching his games three years earlier and slid into this whole hockey world. When we were just friends all was a little bit easier. I didn't care if he had time, didn't felt the need to be near him and didn't know about what effort you need to put into a relationship with a hockey player. Today it changed. He told me about his plans for America, how little time he has and what he has to do to play the way he does. He's good in my eyes for sure. Nethertheless, time management is key. I guess every hockey girlfriend knows what I am talking about. And for those who don't I'll tell a little about a (German) day as hockey girlfriend.
Normally my boyfriend plays on the U20 team of our local club. But since December he's a member of the main team, so he usually got one away and one home game on one weekend. Before the gameday even starts, we go to bed early. He needs his sleep so 10pm or 11pm should be the latest he's awake. I guess good sleep brings success in everything you do. We always start the next day with the annoying sounds of an alarm at 9:00am. “For God’s sake“ is the first thing that comes to my mind; then I open my eyes and see the reason I wake up this early on a Sunday and he knows I am not a morning person, so I'll get my usual morning snuggles. After that I often forget that it's early.
As always he's going downstairs to have a breakfast, while I am taking a shower and get myself ready for the day, then I have a breakfast too. He's checking the NHL scores and reads the newspaper, for sure just the sports part of it. His mother and sister aren't at home because his brother has a game, his father isn't at home either so we're alone and completely silent. He's reading and I'm just being my own disastrous morning person.
At 12:00 we start cooking lunch for us. Hockey players eat a lot, which means big portions for lunch. Later we can't eat because for him it's not easy to go on the ice with a completely full stomach. “Let's take a nap“ is the next step we do on that day. It's his powernap, 30-45 minutes he goes to sleep. Meanwhile I talk to friends on my phone, take a nap as well, or watch TV. It's that bit of time I really use for myself, even when I am with him. Normally about 1:30pm he wakes up, puts clothes on again and is ready for his so called 'Pre game walk'. It’s kind of a tradition. It is a winter day in Germany which means it’s about 1 or 2 degrees (celsius) outside.
My boyfriend lives in a tiny village, as do I, so we always go the same way. We walk the street for a few minutes hand in hand until we reach the supermarket. In my opinion the people who work there are already aware of what we will buy: a cake. I am not sure about why he always buys these cakes but they taste fine and are for the whole family. Our walk lasts about 15 to 25 minutes until we sit back in the living room of his house eating chocolate cake. There are always those tiny kisses in between, the laughter, and those looks we give each other. We're in love and nothing can change it. Not even the clock, When it turns 2:30pm, some fast goodbyes are said. A cute “good luck“ kiss to his lips and he left his home with his father. What can you do now? I never have any good ideas, so I mostly play games with his sister or talk to his mother. I am always happy when this structured time-schedule stops. My boyfriend is now able to concentrate for the game that starts at 5pm and prepare himself for it.
“Do you need a blanket?“ “Yes, I do. It's cold at the game.“ “Let's pack some chewing gum!“ We are always late. His mother likes to arrive late and I have no problem with it, otherwise you would see a frozen person sitting there in row seven. 4:50pm, time to open the doors and show my tickets. Ready to see my boyfriend play for the main team. I am always feeling proud. He reached a goal many guys at his age of 17 haven’t. When I am at the rink my actual life stops, I am in another kind of world. I entered the hockey world. A place I feel more at home than in my actual one. Fans screaming the names of the players and the atmosphere is kind of amazing for me. I am running up the stairs, take a look to the ice and see he's already on it. Definitely my inner fangirl comes out. Never screaming and shouting but clapping and having screams and shouts in my head.
The game is over, a win for our team, a win more for my boy. It's about 7:15pm, the time a normal fan goes home or celebrating the win. For me there's the room for family and girlfriends. The VIP Room. I start feeling my toes again which were frozen and my lips are tasting a very hot hot chocolate. Best feeling in the world waiting there for your beloved one. It takes some time until his team finished showering and eating dinner, but after that we finally can leave. He's reflecting the whole game, especially the mistakes he made and since the early beginning I knew I am not allowed to say anything against his critics. In my opinion he's still the best and I always try to show it when it's game day again. And after a 20 minute car ride we're finally at home again.
Maybe a day like this sounds familiar to some of you hockey girlfriends, wives, or players. Maybe it doesn't sound spectacular living a game day like that. Maybe you also think, “Well nothing interesting I could do other things and meet friends.“ But for me especially it is a way of showing him my support and my interest in him being successful.