Saturday, June 30, 2018

With Glowing Hearts We See Thee Rise

Hockey, more contact than football, better eye-hand coordination than baseball
and more skills than soccer all coming together ON ICE!

You can't think of sports and Canada without thinking of Hockey. Call me grateful it's still hockey as I'm not sure I could have found enough images to fill a post with the naked hotties of curling. Over the ten years working on FH I have featured a number of hockey themed pieces. Both models in hockey gear and real hockey players mostly out of their gear. I played hockey for a few years, and still get get excited during the playoff's.

Many models have put on, and taken off their jock straps for hockey themed posts, including the come from behind beauty of Cole Monahan. (above) There have also been more than a few photographers who use the theme regularly in their work, often featuring their model in goalie gear, I guess maybe to symbolize getting ready for an incoming.

I included a few of my favorite shots of models in (and out) of hockey gear on page 2 (HERE:) but for the remainder of this post, I wanted the real thing, and to head into the locker room with candid shots of real players hanging out before and after the game.

As a gay kid playing hockey, locker rooms were both an exciting and a dangerous place. My memories of locker rooms hit all of my senses, especially the sights and smells. For me, the sounds were usually muffled, I didn't hear much as I was focused on making my way through the changing area and showers without bringing on any unwanted attention.

In order to do so, I usually looked straight ahead, restricting naked players to the peripheral. I think if I had been out at the time, I would have felt more relaxed to enjoy a gaze or two, but at the time, my fear of being outed drove my behavior. That's not to say I don't have some fond memories of team mates in jock straps and in the shower, but I was always on the move when in the locker room, so my memories are mostly drive by recollections as I changed or headed out to the shower or out the door.

I have also have found memories of the smell. Contrary to what most think, locker rooms, especially just after a game, are a mix of sweat, Axe and Old Spice High Endurance. Sweat just after a game can have an almost pleasant aroma, at least it did to me. It was the sweat and smell of that hockey bag, especially a few days later, that brought forth the gag reflex.

I came from a hockey family, we all played and my father coached, and our furnace room was filled with wet hockey gear, not always properly hung to dry. I don't remember too many dinners when my bother didn't complain about the hockey gear, and the smell, my brother and I needed to 'take care of.' I miss playing hockey, the locker room and the excitement of entering the rink on game night. I don't miss getting up a 4a.m on Saturday for practice, or... that hockey bag, with wet, three day old gear.

If you want to spend a little more time in the locker room, there are some additional shots on Page 2 HERE:

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