Of course I’m used to the outdoor cold, but the combination of getting back into a pair of hockey skates and then making my way out on a pond was daunting. But, as with most things, it was like riding a bike, it did come back to me, and I had no need for a chair as training wheels — apparently I am much more coordinated now than I was as a seven year old. Steve was a good teacher and I was soon gliding up and down the pond with ease. I didn’t quite get the hang of executing the turn that gets one skating backwards, or figure out backwards skating at all, but got so I could effectively make the turns at the pond’s corners. And stick work proved relatively easy, with Steve getting me dribbling, passing and shooting with ease, though certainly not with the fluidity of those more experienced.
Fortunately, it’s an old-trout’s pick-up league, with no pads (other than the goalie) and no (real) checking. Steve explained my rookie status and the gang agreed to take it easy on me, which they did. We played three 15 minute periods and had a blast. My teammates were generous with the puck, actually passing it to to me at times; and though my dribbling probably looked a bit spastic, I did manage to move the puck down the pond a few times and even got off a couple of half decent passes. Mind you, my opponents were equally gracious and let me run with the puck rather than taking it away from me, the relative “baby” I was on the ice.
Not only was it fun, but it served as a nice workout. I got some nice burn in my thigh and calf muscles, and believe I activated parts of my leg muscles that haven’t been tweaked in years.