I am 30 now, and have been playing since I was able to walk. I played all through High School (HS hockey was the funnest time of my life...I still miss it), and I also played 2 years of Club hockey in College. Now I play in a mens rec league like alot of others on here. I too, will never stop playing hockey.
I started playing when I was five, and played for thirty years in a row. I had to stop about seven years ago due to my job. I'm out of town a good bit, so it made it tough to play. I still skate every chance I get.
I don't play for a club anymore (I've been on one for about 17 of my 29 years), but I do play shinny and pick up at local rinks (and outdoor in Calgary whenever I visit!! - the best, btw). When I finish school and get a decent job, I'll be back in a league probably.
I play pickup in Walpole Mass on my lunch breaks with all the kids from the Southern Mass. schools that run me ragged (I'm 34). It's a blast. I also hop in on semi-disorganized friendly nights in Metro Boston. I was a JV goalie briefly at St. Mark's in Mass, but gave hockey up for twelve years (why, WHY??? my backup in junior high was the starter for Harvard!!!) Now, I'm a rehabed goalie, playing a very Finn-style winger game.
Ah, what could have been..."I could have been a contender, Charlie...I coulda been somebody..."
I've been a hockey fan for a long time. Two years ago I bought a pair of skates and stumbled onto the ice at the local arena. About 14 months later I dropped $600+ on pads and started going to saturday night open hockey.
I've played all 4 "major sports"; Baseball, American Football, Basketball, and Soccer, and baseball and soccer I've played all my life and in high school. I can honestly say for me hockey is by far the funnest sport to play. It's very tiring, but when there's an odd man rush (or I'm streaking down the ice for any other reason), I just feel like I'm flying.
If there are fans here that are considering starting to play, I wholeheartedly reccomend it. It's not that hard to get started, you just need a pair of skates. If you hate skating and can't do it well, you will hate playing hockey. If you're persistant, and put the time and energy in to really learn to skate well, you will love playing hockey.
Ice in the winter, inline in the summer. Started playing in my early 20's and wish I had discovered it years sooner. People have asked me if I played in high school, I seemed to have become somewhat decent in a rather short time, makes me wonder where it might have taken me had I played organized as a youth and been coached.
And Blackjack is dead-on about the skating. It's worth taking the time to invest in the most fundamental skill. I spent a year solely teaching myself to skate before ever touching a stick and a puck so I wouldn't have to think about it when learning puck skills.
Anyhow, usually I mange to play 2-3 times a week and absolutely love it. I'll keep going however long the body lets me.