my gear, hanging up to dry in our dining area

My gear, hanging in our dining area

25 July 2000
J came with me to the beginner clinic last night. She said she found a lot of it (the drills, mostly) frustrating, but the scrimmage at the end was fun for her. She came away with some pretty ugly bruises on her arms from collisions during the scrimmage, but she seemed to delight in the contact.

I had another "where the hell were my pads???" moment myself when I got my skates caught in some rough ice behind the net and slammed shoulder-first into the boards. I could hear someone yelling "GET UP!", but I was so tangled up that it took a moment to extract my stick and get my arms and legs under me. Luckily, the sore spot is on the knob of my shoulder, which I think doesn't come in contact with my backpack straps. (I plan to wear my backpack for the 3-Day this weekend.)

I talked to Shaun about joining the beginner league for the 5 remaining games of the season; I just need to fill out some forms and fork over some dough. We agreed that I'd start after the two-week break because Day 0 of the 3-Day is this Thursday. Between the walk and the rink closure, I won't be playing hockey again for over a week. Hope I can stand the separation! :)

6 August 2000
Finally got back on the ice Friday night in Oakland after what seemed like an eternity. It was probably good that I didn't go over to San Mateo earlier in the week, though, since my feet and especially my knees were still recovering from 60 miles of profuse pounding. They're still recovering, in fact. Each day my knees are a little looser and less painful, but the progress seems incredibly slow. I'm afraid complimentary muscles are going to end up atrophying because of the strange gait that the super-tight muscles behind my knees are inducing.

Anyway, I was the first one on the ice Friday night and the last one off. It was great to be back. Worked on stopping a little, but it's still not happening for me. I think I'm putting my weight on the inside skate instead of the outside one. At least, from what I'm reading in my hockey books about one-footed stops, the one foot is supposed to be on the outside, and I do my one-footed stops on my inside leg. I probably have my weight on the inside leg on the two-footed stops as well. I'm still turning instead of stopping, but I guess the consolation is that my turns are really tight now. My pivots are definitely getting better, too. They're only shaky when I'm going really fast.

A couple guys tried to get me to join a half-ice scrimmage, but I really do like to use stick time to work on my skills. It's like that rule of golf: Work on your game at the driving range, not on the course. I want to work on my skills when I have a chance so I don't have to think about them when I'm actually playing. What kind of irritated me was that they kept asking, "Are you ready to give it a shot?", like when I said I'd rather work on my skills what I really meant was that I just needed time to work up my courage to play. As if!

Which reminds me of another irritation: Why does everyone outside of the Ice Oasis crowd keep asking if I'm going to join the women's league? No one asks, "Are you in a league?" or "Are you planning to join a league?" Instead, they ask, "Are you going to join the *women's* league?" I mean, yes, I am a woman, so it makes sense that I might want to join a women's league. But why not just ask if I play in a league? Is the women's league so starved for players that they need every female they can get? If so, why is it only the men who ask?

This question came up in the locker room Friday night, and I found myself having to defend my decision to play coed. It was weird and annoying. Something else weird also happened in the locker room that night: three people got naked. That's never happened before when I've been in the room. I mean, we all end up in underwear/jockstraps at one point or another, but when one of the guys (the one who asked about the women's league this time, as it happens) stripped completely, I thought "what the heck are you doing?!?" The only other woman in the room was the next to go nude. Jeez, to think I'd been nervous about peeing in the only partially-concealed loo with two guys on the other side of the partition two weeks earlier! By the time the third player let it all hang out, I was practically nonchalant... until he got it stuck in his waistband when he pulled up his underwear.

The funny thing is that Oakland Ice is the one facility with enough locker rooms (8, not including the ones for figure skaters) to designate separate rooms for women and men. Last night they opened only one room for both ice surfaces, however, so it was crowded as well as coed. Not that I've ever managed to keep the guys out of the room designated for women when there is one, though.

It probably sounds ironic that I'm talking about the discomforts of coed locker rooms while at the same time insisting that I want to play in a coed league, but I don't think it's inconsistent. I quite like the coed locker rooms at Ice Oasis; they give us all a chance to talk about the game we've just played or other stuff, while giving anyone who needs it privacy (there's a curtain on the shower and a door on the bathroom stall). It seems to work pretty well.

me in my white jersey, on the bench at Oakland Ice
hockey blog home | previous | next