|Photo Credit: Joshua DeSario|
My wife may leave me for having an affair with the floor if things keep going the way they did last night.
The evening started after a long, long day, which pretty much seems to be the way Monday practices are going to go from here until the moment when I become independently wealthy and can spend the beginning the week being pampered and napping before heading out to our nine o’clock shindig. Of course, if I was independently wealthy and could do all that, I suppose I’d also be expected to fund the purchase of a rink and whatnot so that we could practice whenever we want, without being at the mercy of a public rink. Hmmm…
But I digress.
Anyway, I was tired and I can’t imagine the fatigue level of the guys who’d played the night before as well. They’d left it all out on the floor yet, as I made my way into the rink, the better part of the squad was there, doing a bit of a debriefing before rolling on out. That’s the sort of thing that shows these players true love for the sport and sets a great example for we rookies, as well as for the up-and-coming youngsters who will shoulder the future of the game.
And after donning my skates and pads (and they’re officially starting to get a bit ripe, not that you needed to know that), it was onto the floor. ProseHack had us skate around the outside of the track, trying to keep up with the bigs warming up on the inside but I was just happy to maintain uprightness for the duration of the time before we broke down to stretch.
Then, as the bigs worked on some strategy-work on the inside, we were tasked with just getting some skate time zooming around the outside. And, after a while, that’s exactly what was happening, or at least it felt like it. Compared to where I started a while ago, I really did feel like I was zooming around! I was putting some pretty good times in, not feeling too worn out, although after a while I did develop that pesky lower-back burn (get lower, I know!) and racing round and feeling good. Only my second practice back after my most recent lull with the car and look at me!
Of course, that was to be a short lived moment of joy.
For then, our kind and gracious coach, ProseHack, so rightly deemed that it was time for us to start working on some hitting drills. Oh, joy. I just got to the point where I can go round and round without busting my butt every three feet and now you want me to try whacking people? With my body? On skates?
Oh this is going to be fun.
Initially, I was paired up to bump with fellow rookie, Wil-Power. For those of you who are unacquainted with Mr. Power, let’s just suffice it to say that Wil is something of an immovable force, even on wheels. And that’s essentially what I ascertained as we rolled around the track, over thinking every motion, having my brain run through a checklist, “Stay low. Don’t go too high. Don’t use your elbows. Keep rolling. Not too fast. Not so slow! Explode from the legs! But not too high or you’ll bust! I think I’m gonna fall. Ouch!”
And so it went until ProseHack then paired me up with another rookie, whose official name has yet to be chosen so, for now, we’ll call him Jason (since that’s his name.)
Yet, the results were eerily similar, finding me over think, over think, and fall. Again. And again. And again.
You get the picture.
I fell on my butt, my back, my knees, my sides (yes, sides, plural!) and more and unleashed more than my fair share of expletives at the floor and my incompetence. Yet, in true Chumbawamba fashion, I kept getting back up.
After those moments of exciting frustration, ProseHack decided to amp it up a bit and have us practice our walls while the recovering Punchline played jammer. Y’know, I’ve gotta hand it to you veterans; you guys make it look so easy. (And I kind of hate you for that.) Because I just couldn’t get my crap together! I’d seal a hole here then get going too fast and, lacking any real stopping abilities save for falling, I’d get ahead. Or, more frequently, I’d bump and fall, getting too high and losing my balance and busting.
Then I’d hop up and do it all again.
And while I felt like an idiot every time I fell, I kept getting up. And getting up. And getting up. Sure, there was a point that I really did get tired of getting up, but I kept doing it until ProseHack finally had mercy and called it a night for us. Sweaty, bruised, and tired I crawled to the bench, pulled off my gear, and smiled.