Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kids Who Play Hockey Have Parents Who Play Hockey

When I was a kid I was at the ice rink several days a week. My mom worked there, so we went along with her most of the time. I skated each weekend, sometimes at multiple sessions. I met one of my very best friends there when I was 11, and we still keep in touch today. Once I went to college, though, I hung up my skates. Not intentionally, but just because other things got in the way. I don't even think I took skates with me when I moved to Philly. The first time I skated after that was on Sam's third birthday, and it was shaky. Once we moved to Morgantown, I began skating more often with Lucy at her 'hockey' practice and now I'm skating several times a week with Sam's team. Add in the occasional public session with the kids, and I'm feeling pretty good about my skating ability.

My hockey ability? Now that's another story. When I'm at practice with Sam and we have to demonstrate something, I usually hang back. The other coaches on our team (we have SIX) all played or currently play hockey, so I've never been confident enough to step up. I mean, I think I can do most of the maneuvers we do in practice, but do I really want to try them out for the first time in front of a bunch of kids who think I know what I'm doing? Nope. No thanks! Not today.

What to do, then? Luckily, the answer was revealed to me in an email from our local rec center. A women's hockey clinic, for all skill levels, running for eight weeks. I ran out, bought myself a purple practice jersey (of course) and didn't sleep for days, I was so anxious. I got there extra early on my first day (of course) and began suiting up. I had put on all of my equipment the night before just to try it out. I've been dressing Sam for three years, but never myself! It was a little weird moving around in all of those pads, but I managed to get my skates on and get onto the ice without any major pratfalls.

After a few laps, I was feeling good! It was definitely weird skating with all of this stuff on, but I was glad to have it when I did a major belly flop during our scrimmage. We did some skating drills and some stick work, which was what I was the most anxious about. I yap at Sam that he should always volunteer to go first during drills, and since I didn't want to be a hypocrite, I got right in line behind the coach when he started working with pucks. And I lost that damn puck every time I had to make a turn, with all of the other ladies watching. But by then I was having so much fun I didn't care!

The next week I recruited a friend to come, too, so it was even more fun! I skated my butt off, and I felt it later on, but after only a few weeks I'm feeling a lot more comfortable playing hockey. So next week I'm joining the actual league that plays actual games. Crazy, I know, but I think I kind of love it!


Speaking of hockey games, our team came in second place in our last tournament, and Sam got his very first trophy. He was so, so excited! Go Hornets!

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