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.