Life got in the way and we didn’t get on the ice at all last week. I kinda felt bad when I asked him if I could go to the Pandora practice Saturday evening while he was stuck working at the dropzone – but not bad enough to stay home when he encouraged me to go.
Once again I managed to string together several seconds of competency here and there amidst minutes of suckage. Pushed it a bit harder and really felt the edges on the first drill, which was almost a C cut on one foot, alternating. Builds a lot of speed – and looks really cool – if done correctly. Fell down doing a transition; managed to avoid hitting my head and got up laughing at myself. I used to be able to do those just fine!
I did a lot of laughing at myself. At one point, Randy noticed and commented “at least you’re still having fun!” To which I agreed heartily. I’m having so much fun sucking at this; every time I’m on the ice I learn something, get a good workout and laugh a lot.
We broke up into two groups again; there were five of us working with Randy. He asked what we wanted to work on and the consensus seemed to be crossovers. Front and back. I passed on the back crossovers again, choosing to work on speed going backwards. I started to feel left foot over right (right turn) front crossovers though, and right over left was a bit smoother than last week. Small improvements, but improvements none the less.
After some skating, he had us stand around a faceoff circle and do one touch passes to each other. That was fun – and challenging! We did really good… until he added in the skating around the circle and passing to each other part. We weren’t quite as capable at that!
We also worked on shooting, with an emphasis on trying to elevate the puck. I didn’t get it to elevate, but I did hit the spot I wanted to hit a few times. Sure wish we had a place at home to practice shooting.
Pandora is hosting a cross ice 3 on 3 tournament on April 1st and a 6 week cross ice 3 on 3 league starting the week after. Since most of the women there plan to take part, we did a few minutes of 3 on 3 scrimmage at the end of practice.
SO much fun! With 1/3 of the ice space, the pace is fast and furious. I made a few nice defensive plays (used my body to angle a forward away from the net, lifted a stick and got the puck out of our zone with a tape to tape pass) and a couple not so good ones (don’t go off the ice when the other team is heading toward your goal, dumbass).
Keith was heading home from the dropzone when I texted him from the locker room. He suggested that I stay for a beer and I’m glad I did. The conversations covered a variety of topics, but what stuck in my mind were the comments that the experienced women were making about playing with guys. One woman has had multiple concussions due to the actions of overzealous male players. The original Pandora team had issues with male teams getting physical with them (especially after Pandora had beaten them in a previous game).
Hockey is an aggressive and dangerous sport, but I was hoping to play without another major injury. In my Pollyanna world, everybody wants to play without anybody getting injured. But apparently not everybody cares if others get injured. I’ve already become a bit leery of playing with guys after seeing some of the bronze league games. Hearing from women who are good at this say that they don’t like playing with guys has me thinking hard about wanting to play in the co-ed league.
Jillian said that there are almost enough interested women to put together a four team, 5 on 5 full ice “league of our own” though. The teams would be a mix of experience levels (no “ringer” teams) and the focus would be on competing, yes, but also on fun and learning and getting out there playing hockey. I’m stoked on this idea, and I hope that it can happen soon! I’ll be getting the word out to all the women in the class for sure.
While I was a bit tired Sunday morning the muscles weren’t sore. Surprising considering how hard I worked them Saturday night. I was wondering how the body was going to handle skating two nights in a row so Sunday was spent storing up energy (IOW, watching hockey in our pj’s).
Arrived early enough to be one of the first in the locker room and subsequently one of the first on the bench waiting for the Zamboni to finish up. Got some stretching in and spent the last minute or so sitting on the boards. No, I didn’t hop off when it was time; I gingerly set my skates on the ice like I was anticipating a fall.
I didn’t fall then, but I did later. Started with more skating drills – scooters, one foot glides, swizzles, stopping, even an attempt at touching one knee to the ice and getting back up. And then we were all lined up against the boards and Jeff told us to race around the outside of the rink.
Chaos. Bodies colliding into bodies, falling down and sliding across the ice into other skaters feet… I stayed to the inside and avoided contact, all the while marveling at how aggressive nearly everyone was being.
Broke up into groups and we started with Brian again. This week he had us learning front crossovers. Started with turning to the left; nearly everyone – even the very much beginners – managed at least one step and everyone remembered to keep their knees bent. I managed to get all the way around the faceoff circle without a stutter step.
Then we tried the other direction. And I didn’t do bad – yes, I was stutter stepping a bit and yes I did fall down once but I also felt what it’s supposed to feel like (for a second anyway). With a bit more time spent on one foot riding the edges since I first tried this, I’m beginning to think that I really will OWN crossovers one day.
Eric had us do more swizzles, one foot turns and stopping. A good leg workout. Just wish he would provide a bit of coaching along with setting up the drills.
Jeff introduced puck handling with some stationary dribbling and a few runs around a cone and at the goal. I thought I was doing better at skating a puck toward the net than what I did there. I’m going to blame the fact that it was the end of the session and I was tired. Yeah. That’s it.
There were no league games (new season starts next weekend) so the snack bar was closed, which interfered with our plan to have a beer and meet some more people. Instead we loaded the gear up and headed home.
While facebooking, I got a message from Jillian asking if I was in for the 3 on 3 league. Told her I wasn’t but possibly could be if they needed a body and didn’t care about my noviceness. How big was my smile this morning when I opened facebook to find a message from her asking me to play part of the games on her team!
I’m so excited. I get to play hockey with people who are better than me. I’m going to learn so much!
The body handled two nights of skating better than I expected. I feel about like I did after the first classes last year; sore muscles but nothing unbearable. Glad I’m not skating today, though.