I'm going to finally join a beginner women's hockey league. I had bought equipment, practiced skating a little bit last winter and had planned on joining a league this Fall, but there were a bunch of factors in the way... namely my long work hours and $$.
Now that I've made some changes in the job department, I can make it happen. So to get started, I decided to practice skating at the local rink where they are open to the public Friday nights. Since Tina pretty much came out of the womb on skates, she came along so she could give me a few pointers.
We arrived at the rink at about 7:45 p.m. and walked in to the largest sea of 12 to 16 year olds I think I've ever seen in one place. My heart sank. The last thing I wanted was a mob of people around while I stumbled around on skates. Since it was free, we decided to do it anyway.
They opened the ice at 8:00 and off we went. The moment I set foot out there I felt as though I just wandered onto a busy highway at rush hour. I'm not kidding. There had to have been at least 60 people out there. And more than half of them moved like they were out on a kamikaze mission.
Around and around Tina and I went. But forget practicing stopping. It was literally a matter of survival. One minute I had some kid come whizzing at me the wrong way, some small child falling at my feet, or dodging a pile of kids who had just taken each other out.
About an hour into chasing Tina up and down the ice, I narrowly avoided slamming into some 12 year old. I swear, my life flashed before my eyes. I was moving at a pretty good clip when this idiot decided to come charging across the middle of the ice. I think we both exchanged the same wide-eyed look of "AGHH!!!" Just as we were about to collide, by some miracle we both swerved in opposite directions, the front of my sweatshirt brushing the front of his jacket.
As I slowed to a stop I glanced down at my heart rate monitor. It flashed "183 bpm." Geez. I didn't even get that high during my intense workouts.
15 minutes after that I'd decided I had had enough of that suicide mission. But that certainly helped assure me that if I could handle that, I can handle playing beginner hockey which will involve far less people on the ice at once and full padding. Granted we'll all be weilding sticks and chasing after a puck, but still... I'm convinced anything will be safer than that public skating session. (Which I vowed never to do again)