On Sunday night I played hockey for the first time in years. I was really excited to be playing - it's wonderful to feel fit enough to be able to run for a match. I first played hockey when I was 7, back in 1969, and I played through into my late 20's. When I stopped playing, I coached and umpired for a few years, which kept my hand in but the only time I played a match over the last 15 years was when I played a season of corporate cup hockey in Darwin about ten years ago. I nearly played last year but I just didn't get myself organised. Fortunately, I was chatting to Julia during PT the other week and the next thing I knew I was signed up to play social hockey.
I was quite nervous about it, as I didn't know if I was up to playing on astroturf. I was playing in country Vic when astroturf was coming into use in Melbourne, and so I pretty much missed it. The game is a lot faster on that surface, and it's played differently.
On Sunday morning I was watching the Women and Girls Triathlon when I mentioned to Lola that I was going to buy a hockey stick. She kindly offered to lend me a few of her old sticks so that I could work out what I wanted. She also lent me a pair of socks in ANU colours, which was pretty impressive as she plays for Central. I bought myself shinpads and a mouth guard, and I was set to play. I quickly discovered that I will have to practise wearing the mouth guard. I was nearly throwing up when I did wear it, so it spent the game stuffed down my bra. I will have to go to the dentist and get one fitted. Sigh. This health and fitness lark costs a lot of money.
The competition I'm playing in is a social comp, so the team was a mixture of abilities, with both men and women playing. They were really welcoming, and I found myself playing right fullback, which is one of my favourite positions. There were modified rules but it felt just like playing used to feel. I was running all over the place, hoping like hell that I wasn't stuffing up too much. I managed to get my feet in the way a few times, but the shinpads did their job. Fortunately the old skills came back quite quickly. I can see that I'll need to develop a few new ones, but I'm going to be playing on turf with the veterans when the season proper starts.
I was having dinner with a friend after the match. Their house is in walking distance from the hockey centre, so I walked there and back. On the way there I followed the path but on the way back I was walking in the straightest line possible. I didn't have the energy to take the longer way. It was such a relief to get there.
I mentioned the triathlon earlier. I thought I'd feel terrible, watching Kelly and the other WTTP participants doing the triathlon, but I wasn't at all upset or disappointed. I was relieved about that. I found the whole thing really interesting. Kelly was so nervous, but she participated and got around safely. She looked so determined through all the transitions. It was inspiring to watch her. Krissi and Jess participated in a team triathlon with a friend of Krissi's doing the swim leg. They were the first team in for the longer course. I was really impressed that five solo competitors beat them in. Not by far, but they still beat them. I expected the teams to come in well before the other competitors. It goes to show how fit some of these women are.
I've signed up for War on Waistlines at the gym. It will run over the next 12 weeks and looks similar to the Biggest Loser challenge Fernwood ran last year. The rules seem better thought through. It's going to clash with the bike skills program but them's the breaks. My personal training is also stuffed up because there's a group session that clashes. I've rescheduled to Thursday this week, which inteferes with Squash. Sometimes I think I just try to do too much! Still, I'm having fun, which is the important thing.