Archive for January, 2012

Getting in the Game

January 24, 2012

I confess, I drove to hockey tonight with trepidation.

Last time was fun, but I did spend the whole time trying to re-learn how to skate. As much as I know that learning takes time, and as much as I’m ready to do what it takes to build my skills, I worried how many times I’d spend hockey practice trudging back and forth on the ice.

Miracle of miracles. My body remembered what it needed to in order to skate forward. So that meant I got to participate in the drills.

Bad news: The coach ran a ton of partner drills. I kept picturing myself as THAT student – the one who’s always a day late and a dollar short, continually unable to hold up her end of the bargain. The one nobody wants as a partner.

Good news: The guys out there all seemed to remember that they were beginners like me too, and were remarkably kind and patient.

Bad news: Maybe I could go forward, but I can’t turn worth a darn.

Good news: The coach taught me what to do when I turn, so maybe next time that’ll come along too.

Bad news: I looked like Frankenstein when skating with the puck. I’ll let you picture it yourself.

Good news: I was one of the most accurate passers out there.

So I won’t lie. I’m pumped up. I’m excited about what I’ve learned, and I am ready for more. Bring it on!

Learning Curve

January 18, 2012


So this week, I did it. I dropped the other shoe. Skate, if you will. Because tonight I went to my first instructional hockey lesson. Call it a precursor to mid-life shenanigans, if you want to. For me, it’s more the end of a long period of hemming and hawing – I’ve been playing hockey on the driveway and talking about learning to skate for a long time now.

I thought about putting this post on my personal blog, but thought, if I’m an educator, doesn’t it make sense to share my journey here? The whole thought of having something new and challenging to learn is incredibly exciting to me, and I want to make sure I remember that magic for my students.

All right, here’s what I learned tonight:

1. It takes a lot of effort to put a hockey jersey on over pads. I broke a sweat in the locker room.

2. Tighten hockey pants AFTER tying skates.

3. When you go out to the rink and there’s a guy in the middle spreading puddles with a broom, you’re probably not going to skate on the highest-quality ice.

4. The quality of ice doesn’t matter. There’s no whining in hockey. Shut up and skate. (And no, I didn’t whine, thank you very much.)

5. You know that put-your-feet-where-you-can, stand-in-whatever-way-will-keep-your-butt-from-falling approach so many of us take to public skating? Yeah, that doesn’t cut it. Time to completely re-learn how you ice skate.

6. To skate like a hockey player, bend your knees, straighten your back and head, push back and away with the inside of your skates, bring your feet together.

7. If all of those steps in #6 seem like a lot of things to remember, well…yeah. You’re right. It is a lot to remember. So you’ll need to practice it up and down the ice until you get it. Lather, rinse, repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

8. You might not get it all the first night. It’s your job to come back and try again.

9. Hockey’s hard. That’s just a statement of fact. I refuse to whine.

10. It’s also fun. Way fun. But this is something I’m learning for myself – not for any credentials, not for anyone else. This is mine, and I’m ready to roll.

Stay tuned for more updates on my Great Hockey Journey…