So how, exactly, do we get from the boy-child’s skating lessons to me being on the ice in full hockey gear?

The progression of logic is as simple as it is horrifying:

  • Boy-child needs ice time;
  • Skate and shoot is recommended;
  • I should be on the ice with him and should check it out beforehand;
  • Although the rules say, as an adult, I only need a helmet and gloves, I realize I don’t bounce so good anymore;

See? I was clearly required to buy a full set of hockey gear today. There was no other logical option.

So me in a locker room – haven’t been in one since high school and didn’t like it much then.  Putting on all this gear for the first time. 

Yes, realizing there’s still a tag on the elbow pads and pulling it off quickly while hoping no one saw.  Of course that had to happen …

Onto the ice and looking around because I have absolutely no idea how this works or what’s going to happen.  Thankfully a few seconds of watching make it clear.

Nets at either end of the ice and one in the neutral zone against the boards between the two benches.

There’s a goaltender at one end with people taking shots and shots on the empty net at the other end, so it looks like center ice will be a fairly safe place for me to stay.

I grab a puck and set out to practice just being able to control it and skate at the same time – back and forth between the blue lines or cross ice.  And I don’t think I do too badly.  For the most part, I can keep it on my stick, even when I’m stopping and changing directions.

I pick up the pace, too, of both skating and stopping, and I’m pretty happy that I can mostly keep the puck with me when skating at a reasonable speed (for me, at least) and when reversing directions quickly.

When I get off the ice I realize something, though: forty-five minutes of skating is one thing – forty-five minutes of skating in twenty-five pounds of gear is quite another.  I’m exhausted and sweating like a pig.