27 June 2000
Last night was my first beginner clinic at Ice Oasis in Redwood City. I feel like I've just been run over by a car... and I want to jump up and thank the driver.

About 25 people showed up, ranging from absolute beginner (me) to experienced but recovering from injury to trying to remember skills learned as a youth. We started off with skating drills—wiggles, one-foot balancing, falls, crossovers, etc.—and progressed to puck and stickhandling. I wiped out twice during the stopping drill, the first time falling so hard that I felt every one of my ribs rattle. Unfortunately, the second time I fell on the exact same spot (the one not covered by the padding in my pants). No bruise yet, but boy, is my left hip sore!

After a little over an hour of drills, we played a 20-minute scrimmage. I was petrified; I didn't know any of the positions, or even if I'd be able to hop over the boards without falling. I was to be Left Wing in the second line to go out (I had to ask what exactly a Left Wing did, and where she could skate). Within 10 seconds of getting out on the ice, though, I broke up a pass. What a rush! I was totally hooked. I didn't fall at all, even after running into one of my own teammates.

I left tired and with a wicked headache (probably from a combination of whiplash from that first fall and having my hair pulled in all directions by the padding in my helmet), but with a smile on my face. I can't wait to practice backwards crossovers and stopping at the Ice Chalet this Thursday!

dressed for my first clinic

other photos

what I felt like when I practiced the knee-drop drills

30 June 2000
I'd forgotten that I had made plans to see my bass teacher play in his jazz trio at Harris' Steak House on Thursday, so I was relieved when my friend M had to cancel our usual Thursday lunch at the driving range. That meant I could go to the rink instead.

I stopped in at East West Hockey to get my skates sharpened, and then headed over to the Ice Chalet. 11am to 12pm on Thursdays seems to be a good time to go; in addition to the $2 "employees of San Mateo County businesses" lunch bunch discount, it's less crowded. There were about 10 kids who stuck close to the boards, two speedskaters, me, and one red gummi bear on the ice. (The gummi bear was also close to the boards, and thus easy to avoid.) I dressed in full gear (everything except my helmet) so I could practice stops and backwards crossovers without fear of falling.

I can't say I'm thrilled with my performance—I kept rolling over onto my butt & back when I tried the drop-to-one-knee drill, and I still pitched forward whenever I tried a backwards crossover (despite every effort to keep my head and chest up)—but I'm gaining confidence with my backwards skating, and although I can't quite do a hockey stop yet, I'm getting closer. I've got my weight balanced properly, I think, and I'm coming around on my toe rather than on my heel. It's a start.

Today I'm going into the office early (7:00-7:30 instead of my usual 9:30-10:30) so I don't feel guilty about cutting out for the 11am skate & shoot. Hope I can keep it together; I came down with a cold yesterday afternoon, so my head's a bit fuzzy. I'm remembering how much the daily walks seemed to help make the wicked respiratory infection I got in Ireland more bearable, though, and with that in mind, I'll be out on the ice.

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