Gillian On Ice


So I bought Gillian some equipment so she could play in an adults beginner league in Kearney, we showed up, I helped her get on all of the equipment, we got out on the ice, and guess what…she is pretty damn good!  It is really quite irritating, Gillian tends to excel at most things; SCUBA, rugby, swimming, horseback riding, painting, cooking, cake decorating, convincing me to remodel the kitchen, and now she can add ice hockey to her arsenal.  Now I’m not saying she is going to be on the next USA Woman’s Olympic Hockey Team, but for a sport that is fundamentally ridiculous she does very well.
Let’s face it, hockey is a sport where you strap knifes to you feet, step out onto a frozen pond with walls and hit a rubber disk with funny looking stick…ridiculous.  Hockey also has a huge learning curve, you have to be able to move forward, backwards, and stop all while balancing on two, 1/8 inch blades.  Then once you figure out the basics of moving  there is stick handling, passing, shooting, checking, and rules like off-sides and icing, but I digress.
Gillian already knew how to skate, though it had been many years since she had done it, I was impressed with her switching from skating forward to backwards without falling on her ass.  Stopping on the other hand was a bit trickier, the problem with learning how to skate at “open skates” is that you never have to stop you just skate in circles, or ovals,  then try to get off the ice without falling.  So after a little coaching; keep your knees bent, keep your head up, throw your hip, Keep Your Knees Bent, she got the hang of it, at least enough to keep her from sliding into the boards.
The funniest part is watching everyone else around her.  Like with all sports, Gillian plays aggressively, she  is also the smallest person on the ice, so when she goes charging at the other team to get the puck they don’t really know what to do.  Every time she falls, even if no one is around her, you hear someone say “oh, sorry, are you ok?”  After a few more games and a little more coaching I think they are going to stop being so nice to her, because they won’t have too.  She even scored a goal last games!  The Goalie wasn’t in the net, but it still counts.
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