Wednesday 21 November 2007

The H Day has Arrived

Monday was a miserable day, it was cold,windy and wet. It also happened to be the day I was to go down and watch a bit of hockey and meet my potential new teammates. I was beginning to think that hockey was a BAD idea for the following reasons:

1. It is a winter Ireland winters are cold and wet.
2. Have you seen how hard people hit the ball? Serious injury concerns.
3. I have not run around for 60 minutes in a very long time. Or ever!
4. I have not played hockey in 18 years.
5. When I DID play hockey I played with the people who did not want to play was a
compulsory sport, and I did not like being told what to do...TEENAGERS *sigh*
6. I do not know the terminology, the positions or the rules.

Recipe for disaster...I think so. But good old industrious Karla called me on Monday, their game had been cancelled. I breathed a (silent) sigh of relief. Ah but a little bit too soon, things were actually WORSE, she had organised a game against one of the other teams in the club, a practice game so it would be perfect for me...(insert grumpy grimacy emoticon here) So off to the shops to buy a gum guard, yes I would like to keep my teeth they have served me very well so far. When I got home I then had to mould said gum guard by placing it in just boiled water for 12 seconds and then biting on it and sucking all the air out and running my tongue along the back of my teeth etc. The sensation of this lovely device in my mouth made me want to be sick, not a good start. Then I had to rummage through Jessica's cupboard for her socks and shin guards, hockey ball on the shin is also very unappealing. Luckily I could wear tracksuit pants as it was a friendly and I wore my red fleece with SPORTY emblazoned across the front, just so that they could all see that I really meant business. I made sure that we had dinner nice and early, I did not want to ruin their astro, especially as I knew it was going to be difficult enough creating a good impression gallumphing after the ball....
I said goodbye to the kids in the warm cozy house and braced myself for the dark, cold, windy night. Into the car and I was off....quick U - turn at the top of the road...forgot my hockey stick! Phew, thank goodness I realised before I met 11 new ladies. Of course I got there way too early, 20 minutes to be precise, but there was a soccer team practicing so I sat in my car and watched them play and kept an eye on the trees swaying around in the wind. I was mad, what was I thinking, holy moly I am in over my head where I don't want to be. This is NOT a good idea. Then I saw a lady who I thought could be Kara (up until now I had not met any of the hockey ladies) and knew that I had to be brave and get out of my warm little car and face my deep fear of the.....cold.
The ladies were all very nice and once we had all been introduced, there were 2 other new ladies as well, we went for a little warm up run around the astro, all I could do was pray that I could keep up, I didn't know how many times we were going to have to go around. Thank goodness they all very wisely decided that once was enough and then we stood in 2's and knocked the ball around. Astro is cool! Last time I played hockey it was on lumpy grass, on astro the ball GLIDES, and you only have to tap it and it moves quite quickly. This was NOT so bad after all, tap, tap, tap, pass, pass, pass, I can do this!!!!!
Which position would I like to play? Oh HELP, um wing? I remember playing inner at school...not that we ever played a match against another team, all I remember was running across the field doing feather dribble and spending a lot of the time on the sidelines with "shin splints". I have also spent a lot of time watching Malcolm and Jess play, now all of a sudden I realise that most of that time was used in constructive conversation with other moms or wives. This game is nothing like I remember. The ball moves really fast and I run a lot, my gum guard makes me want to see my dinner again but I really don't, so I slip it out every now and then when the ball is far away (just in case) which helps, and then the whistle goes for half time. Wow, 30 minutes has gone by already! I am warm and flushed and even though I have made some really stupid mistakes and I don't know what Kara means when she says "Go wide" I am really having fun. And there is still 3o minutes to go, yippee.
After the game Kara gave me a timetable of all the upcoming games, so perhaps my faux paux's were not so awful after all, maybe there is hope for me yet!

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