Saturday, November 3, 2007

On slippery ground

Thursday morning, as I stood by the little door leading into the ice hockey field, wearing padded pants, torso cover, shin protectors, smelly gloves, a helmet, hockey skates and a huge white shirt, I only had on coherent thought: "F***!"

I had to swallow once. What the heck was I doing here - wearing skates and holding a stick in my hand - when I never EVER tried ice skating before, and really have found myself wanting the few times I tried inline rollerskates?


That step from safety and onto the ice was a long one.
And I felt so much like Bambi on ice - specially looking at those of my co-workers, that were good at skating - the ones that slid gracefully and easily over the ice.

That was when I noticed I wasn't the only one clinging to the side of the field. We were at least a handful that was sure never to get headhunted for Holiday on Ice.

A kind colleague (thanks, Merete) came over and instructed me a bit. Something and other about bended knees and such. And then I skated cautiously around (WITHOUT holding on to anything but my stick) - not elegantly, but I was moving.

Maybe my confidence came from the fact, that wednesday nigth was an unusually successful one, on the dance floor. We're starting to get it - really, we are! Actually we experienced moments of not merely moving around to the music, but actually dancing! Easily enough that Bruno looked at me in that way that always make my knees go soft :-)

Of course, Bruno wasn't with me on the hockey field - but I'm sure that wednesdays dance-success was helping me staying on my skates. And I was starting to feel confident, when Aleksei aka Irma called the team over - to the opposite side of the ice!

Damn! It's a long way, crossing a hockey field like that, when you have around 5 minutes experience skating. But I made it there - as opposed to another co-worker, who didn't much want to let go of the side of the field. Finally Aleksei/Irma went over to get him, pushing him all the way across the field. Looked funny!

Ice hockey looks somewhat different, when the team is made up by a bunch of programmers, project managers and consultants - than when it is one of the teams of the ice-league. There were a lot of un-motivated crashes (solo-accidents), and several of us had a hard time hitting the puck and maintaining balance at the same time.

And by the way, what do you do, when that d...ed puck slides in and comes to rest between your skates?? You just try striking it, when it's settled there!

Yes - I did have a few crashes. Really appreciated the padded pants. And spotted a couple of problems there.

1) Getting back up. I picked the cowards way ... pushing myself to the side on my hands and knees and elevated myself up there.

2) Try picking up the hockey stick with those sausage fingered gloves. It's impossible!!

But I laughed so much my cheeks hurt (the upper ones) - both on the ice and off it. One of my co-workers won the nickname "Bambi" - he actually looked pretty good on skates, but every once in a while he'd suddenly crash for no reason of all. Cute!

The game ended with a 1-1 score, after us being behind for some time. Fortunately! It would have been unbearable if the opposite team had been able to taunt us the rest of the day!!


I haven't gotten pics of the game yet, so the once you see here, are from wednesday, when we picked our team name and created this handsome banner.

I actually think we won on style points - the other team had no name and no banner - yeah!

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