Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I remember when I was a child and playing baseball hearing someone refer to a catchers equipment as "the tools of ignorance". I looked up the definition today and one source said "the usage was meant to be ironic, contrasting the intelligence needed by a catcher to handle the duties of the position with the foolishness needed to play a position hazardous enough to require so much protective equipment. " I never played catcher in baseball. Probably in part because I started playing ice hockey at age 11 and was immediately made a goalie. (I was a big kid and I did not skate very well is the only reason I can imagine why I was put there.) If catchers equipment are the tools of ignorance, what does that make goalie equipment? Something hard is coming at you just as fast and unlike baseball that object is not aimed at a specific spot. Today, after 5 years a way I had a reunion with my equipment.
Except for my first 5 years out of college when I first move to the Chicago area and the last 5 years I played pretty much non-stop. As an adult I played year round. Five years ago I did not intend to quit, I just quit playing for a team the was run by a moron. But, between my sons schedule and my officiating schedule I made little effort to get back on the ice to play. The once or twice I tried were a disaster. The last time, I barely fit into my goalie pants. My size, weight and condition were certainly part of the disincentive to pursue playing again.
I have been threatening to get on the ice now for weeks and always had a reason not to. I know I was scared. During my mens league officiated games I started noticing how hard the shots were that were striking the goalies. This morning I had no excuses that worked. Monday I got my skates sharpened. Last night I dragged out my equipment and resized the upper body armor and dusted off my stick. At 8:15 AM I stepped on the ice with full equipment ready to take on all pucks.
It was only rat hockey and we only played for an hour, but I am totally exhausted. My workouts over the last 4+months certainly made this morning easier, but certainly did not prepare me. I had really thought that I would be better prepared. I was very relieved when we got off after an hour.
The shots did not bother me. Although one stung my palm pretty well. None of the shots were real hard slap shots. My side to side movement and angles were pathetic. My plan is to try to go every Wednesdays until I get my sea legs back. (My only non kettlebell or referee day of the week.) Once I return to a somewhat normal form I want to start playing competitively again. It is tough to find a regular team to play on, but I can register myself as a backup goalie in one of the leagues I referee in. Thought that I should find a regular gig.
I wore my heart rate monitor and I burned around 700 calories for the hour. (I think half of them from from anxiety.) Playing is certainly a worthwhile exercise for me. I now have another incentive to continue my weight loss and conditioning. I want to be able to play at least at a level the does not embarrass me.
My biggest concern is that I might under grow some of my equipment. My pants and body armor are now somewhat big on me. Much more and I will have to invest in new equipment. I guess that will be a pleasant outlay.