Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Crawl Before Ball

On Sunday I played my first hockey game.  Over the summer I slowly accumulated a full set of gear from free and cheap sources with the goal of playing for real somehow, somewhere.  With help from the director of the city's sports division, I got accepted as a sub in the local "organized no-check pick-up" league.  After nearly a year since my first lesson with the kids' class, blade finally met ice.  And then quickly, breezers, shoulder pads, helmet, and blood met ice.

I got my shit rocked - there is no other way to put it - three times.  The reality is that my spatial awareness and ability to stop on a dime are mutually exclusive right now.  Don't even ask about those combined with stick handling.  But the reality is also that my rink-mates' remain somewhat mutually exclusive as well.

The first time: I was coming across center ice looking right to watch for a breakout from a defensive play and so was someone else and we ran smack, stomach-to-stomach into each other - except I'm about 9 inches shorter.  All I saw was the crest on his jersey as I face planted into...honestly, his beer belly....and then, of course, nothing but lights.  His head snapped forward and between his visored helmet (no cage) and the top of my helmet, his nose got destroyed.  There was a fu manchu worth of blood.

The second time: I ran into the back of my teammate as he backed up suddenly.

And the third: I got boarded by another teammate who didn't see me there.

Somewhere my parents are reading this and my mother is hyperventilating.  But these are not malevolent guys.  They're just full-grown men with 30-60 pound advantages on me.  May the physics be never in my favor.

Maybe I should have prioritized equipment that I actually had to pay for.

1 comment:

Dan said...

The physics will work, as soon as you can skate lower to the ice. Once you get the hang of really bending your knees (watch how low to the ice the pros skate) you'll find being short isn't too bad. I usually have one or two 6'9" adult league beer gut monsters try to run me ever year, which doesn't work out all that well for them when my center of mass is lower than their hips.

That said mouthguards are a great way to help prevent concussions!

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