Friday, May 13, 2016

Well, She Did Warn Me

 This is about hockey. Eventually.

Look, I'm old. I get it. I don't try to deny it or Grecian Formula my way around it. Part of my acceptance is due to my wife being satisfied with her comfortable old shoe of a husband, but there's an angle that stems from me trying to be, for want of a better phrase, 'young at heart.' For 48 years old I'm a pretty active dude. I work a job that involves a fair amount of physical activity. I coach two teams, and if that doesn't sound like a workout I suggest you try pitching 1.5 hours of batting practice and get back to me. Hockey is hockey, even with me only playing once a week for now (that'll change soon, as my 2 hours of pickup hockey starts up in early June). There's random spurts of running usually associated with being Becky's Run Buddy for Girls on the Run (including 5ks last and this weekend, plus a couple of midweek staggers to try to mitigate the damage done by the five pound bag of Haribo raspberries Lola got me for my birthday) as well.

The biggest change has been my return to a martial arts class. Zack decided he'd had enough after 2.5 years and since a) his contract has a couple of months left that are transferable, and b) I've been eating my heart out watching him and dying to get back out on the mat, I didn't hesitate jumping back in. It's been tough to get to class with softball/baseball (the timing is just off) but when I do - whew. I've played a lot of sports including rugby, which is 80 minutes straight of alternating between jogging, sprinting, and getting your lunch handed to you by a 285 pound prop. That being said, there's nothing like a martial arts workout to kick your ass and make you ache in different and exciting ways. The school I go to has a number of instructors and each brings a different approach to class. One is all about a hard-core workout. One likes grappling. This Wednesday night the instructor wanted to work on kicks - fine. We did a lot with wheel/round kicks, which are my absolute bane. I am not flexible at all, which is a source of constant amusement to my made-out-of-rubber-bands daughter.. To properly chamber a waist-high wheel kick your knee turns so that your kicking leg is parallel with the floor while your heel is near or against your butt. If you're doing it correctly you can put a stack of dishes on top of your thigh and they won't crash to the floor.

Mine would crash to the floor. I suck at wheel kicks, more so now than 15 years ago when I used to regularly use a stretching machine (aka torture device) each night to try to get more flexibility. Still, Miss Pitea (the instructor) told us that we needed to make the microtears in our muscles in order to improve our kicks in the long run. She then added that we'd all feel it tomorrow, especially those of us who are older. She didn't look at me while she said it. She didn't need to. The kid I was working with, an orange belt about my height, turned out to be 13. THIRTEEN. I'm almost 4 of him. Ye gods. That kid  probably got up the next morning and did cartwheels. Screw you, kid whose name I don't remember.

Anyway, I indeed ached in the hip and groin area Thursday morning. It eased as the day went on (as does my shoulder, which feels like it's stuffed with gravel and glass shards when I first wake up) and I felt good about skating at my game Thursday night.

Well, until I actually started skating. Remember back in the beginning I said this was about hockey? Now it's about hockey, sort of.

With Chaz back in goal the Scurvy Dogs have been scaring some teams. No, really! And not just because one of our defensemen is leading the league in penalty minutes ::cough cough Ken K cough cough::. We lost last week 2-1 after tying the game with a minute left and having the other team's superstar uncork a blast that caught top corner with 2 seconds left - TWO SECONDS. This week, missing a few key players, we still had our chances before falling 3-2. Good games, good fun.

My groin, however, felt like someone was beating on it with a rubber mallet which is not kinky or sexy in any manner. At one point in the 3rd period I went to swing my leg over the boards to get on the bench and just flat out rolled a 1 and failed. Took me two tries.My teammates had the good grace not to laugh at me (or just didn't notice). So it seems that I'm not ageless and that my body won't already respond the way I want it to.

That's okay. there's an over-40 league as well.