I went to my third practice at oh-dark-thirty today. (In January 5:15 is going to seem like sleeping in!) Another great experience. I'm slowly getting the hang of stopping, falling, turning, falling, hitting the puck around and falling. I wasn't the worst one out on the ice today, so that helped my confidence a little.
Stopping still requires so much stinking concentration, it will be nice when it's second nature. I can't figure out the mental block I have about it. It really isn't that hard, get into a low sports stance (like you're doing a squat) put all your weight on one leg and the other leg slides sideways along the ice, well, actually you push it out, to slow yourself down. I guess it seems counter intuitive for me, that's the same motion I use to get speed so it's a mental block I can't seem to overcome. I should really try and get out on the ice for awhile this weekend just to practice.
Turning, or switching directions, also requires a lot of concentration. It reminds me of rollerskating. Remember rollerskating? Remember learning to skate backwards? Remember learning to switch directions from forward to backward. THEN remember learning it all over again the opposite direction. Yeah. It's a lot like that. I don't feel too bad at that particular skill, when I can do it on my stronger side, but when my opponent goes to my right I really have to think about what I am doing. The coach gently reminded us this morning that we should always have our eyes on the opponent so we can know where they're going next. Oh yeah.
And then there is hitting the puck. Did you know you're not supposed to smack it like a golf ball or baseball? You're supposed to gently catch it with your stick, like it's an egg -- !careful! don't break it! -- and then gently slide, or push it wherever you're aiming it. I don't know if I am explaining it very well, but it ain't what I thought! Then switch directions and do it backwards! I had some challenges keeping the puck coming to me. You're traveling backwards scooping the puck toward yourself instead of pushing it out in front. It was messed up!
Falling. What can I say about falling?
Today I am in a little more pain from falling than the last two times. I took a hard crash on my left shoulder and hit my helmet-clad head on the ice (thank goodness for the helmet!) I think the number of falls is actually good, that means I am not stressing so much about staying upright. And as I fall, I will learn better balance and what it takes to keep me where I should be. Right? Right.
Lastly, since adding hockey isn't enough for me, we added swim lessons for the kids. Back to back lessons which means I can get a workout in! And I started to read a book on personal finance that makes sense. Go figure, something on personal finance that makes sense to ME! Actually, My Honey has been listening to this guy for awhile now, telling me stories now and then. I finally broke down and started to read his stuff. It's making sense and that scares me, that means it's simple. I gotta say it's encouraging, empowering and, you'll LOVE this part, opening lines of communications about finances that we've not had before.