I sit here writing this blog post while watching the 30 for 30: Of Miracles and Men, an ESPN documentary about the US National Hockey team and their “miracle” win again the USSR. Anyways, if you didn’t already know, after reading this title you know that I have started playing ice hockey!
My first two years in college I rowed for a D1 collegiate program. After my second year both me and my coaches recognized that I was never going to be competitive enough in the sport, so I stopped rowing(well thats a simplified explanation.) This left me without an organized sport for the first time in 10 years. For my first semester of 3rd year I told myself that I wanted to give my body a break and experience what is is like to not have so much of my life dedicated to a sport. Welp, that lasted about half a semester before I made the spontaneous decision to start playing ice hockey.
I came across and ad looking for women hockey players with the words “no experience needed” and I quickly jumped on the idea. Quickly may even be an understatement. Within a 15 minute car ride I had read the ad, emailed the captain on the team, gotten a response from her, decided I was going to play, and texted my mom to inform her of my new sport.
My first practice I attended was v interesting. First lets talk about the equipment. I got to the rink and the captain hands me a bag the size that 2-3 toddlers could fit inside of. I head to the locker room and everyone is starting to get dressed (a 10 minute endeavor) and I am just sitting there looking at the one other new girl like..
Eventually one of the girls tells us step by step how to put all the gear on. I make it onto the ice and warm up before the coach calls us in a huddle to go over the drills we are doing next. I’m listening to him talk and explain the drill but i’m like whaaaaaaaat?
Each week after the first is better and better. My improvement is noticeable and I really start to enjoy the sport. In a way hockey is a lot like my first sport of basketball, and it really started to fulfill a void that rowing could just not do.
So after my 4th practice comes my first game. We traveled to Philadelphia for a hockey tournament and suddenly I was thrown into a hockey game with girls who have been playing their entire life. I was informed of what off-sides meant and icing before being sent off to play (those concepts are still a little hairy.)
We won the first game 9-2 and I actually did way better than expected. The games allowed for me to better understand how positioning works which was helpful. I recognize that the actually hockey skill will come with time, but understanding the game itself is big.
The rest of the tournament did not go in our favor but our last game was a pretty good game and we only lost by one. Playing in this tournament really showed me that hockey and this team is exactly what I was looking for. I’m really excited for the rest of the season and i’m looking forward to making a lot of improvements!
P.S: I don’t know how to stop
P.S.S: My inner thighs are bruised from climbing over the boards