Anyway, here's what happened: A month and a half ago, Kelvin Lee, who coaches the aa Markham Islanders in the same 2005 age group as my aaa Majors team was at our tryouts looking to find a few final kids for his team after I finalized (to quote Homer Simpson) "the easiest part of any coach's job. The Cuts." Kelvin and I were standing near the boards and I was letting him know which kids would make the team, and which kids were likely to come to Markham for aa. As we watched the boys skate Kelvin pointed out a goalie who had come out to tryouts and impressed, but ultimately wouldn't make our team this year. It was very tempting to take him though, purely because we could have had the best goalie tandem nickname in hockey. The boys name was Eric Wu. Had he joined one of my other goalies Jayden Tang, we could have had the Wu-Tang Clan between the pipes for us, which as we all know would have been nothin' to F**k with (censored in case any of my nine year old hockey team reads this, as if they don't know what that means.) 90's rap group nicknames aside, I am very happy and confident with my real goaltending tandem of "Shayden" (Shea Lauren and Jayden Tang.) Without a better segue to end this digression, I'll just get to the point, Kelvin had pointed out Eric Wu as one of his goalies for a tournament team he was coaching in China. As a joke, I said to him "do you need an assistant coach?" he said, "actually, yes we do," which I didn't think twice about. There was no way I was going to China. A few days later, I got a text from Kelvin asking if I wanted to meet with Ling, who was organizing the trip. I said yes to be polite, but still there was no way I was going to China.
So, Kelvin arranged a lunch meeting for the three of us in China, I mean Markham. I say it that way, because in the Pacific mall area where we met, I was literally the only non-Chinese speaking person at the restaurant. I got there early to a very crowded, chaotic restaurant during the weekend lunch rush and wasn't even sure how to get a table. It was overwhelming to say the least. Kelvin was late (as usual) so I waited outside like a scared little kid until he got there. He showed up said a few words to the host in Chinese and we had a table in no time. He and I ate lunch while we waited for Ling.
Ling came along and told me that they were for realz serious (sorry for writing that) about me coming to China with them. In fact, if I were willing to go for 3 weeks, they already had lots of interest from China for me to run a goalie camp. It was a difficult decision, because who can drop everything and head off to China for 3 weeks with a month's warning, not to mention the worry over who will cook for my girlfriend while I'm gone. (Do they make those big, time delayed feeding things for humans the way they do for fish? I'm asking for a friend.) In the end, obviously I decided to make the decision to go to China. I'm not sure if I ever would have gone without this opportunity and I plan on making the most of it.
I'm planning on one more blog post before I leave. I am going to write about my expectations for my trip. I think it'll be fun to have that to look back on when the trip is over. Thanks for reading this far.