Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Three cheers for Dumb Leg!

So, if you read my blog, you know a couple of things:

  1. I haven't had a real "victory" on the ice in a while. You know... a good skate where I left the rink doing a happy dance. It's all been sort of nervous survival for the last month or more.
  2. I've had a bitch of a time learning to stop.
Well, today the hockey gods rewarded me with:
  1. A randomly scheduled early evening public skate session at Willowbrook. They almost never have a mid-week public skate other than at lunchtime, so this was a rare occurrence.
  2. Nearly empty ice. Maybe 15-20 people in the whole rink.
  3. The rink attendant who looks like Brandon Rogers. (Hey, I skate better with eye candy.)
  5. Victory... happy dance... texting Coach Stalin... woohoos from Coach Stalin... good mood for at least a few days!
I went to this skate with the intention of learning to stop on my dumb (left) leg if it took me the whole two hours to do it. Until today, I couldn't even put my left skate down to try and stop without the whole thing going haywire.

But today, I stayed patient, gave myself all the time I needed to work up to it, and little by little, I was able to shave the ice up with my left blade. The trick was be in a fairly deep knee bend. More than I have to do when I stop on my smart leg. I still have trouble making full blade contact with the ice because my leg doesn't want to turn that far inward. But if I focus on making contact with the heel of my blade first, it works out about right.

I need to spend some time standing around working on the leg rotation like I did a while back with my smart leg.

Anyway, enough of the mechanics of it, but it suffices to say that I am SO relieved. I really thought I was retarded and would never learn to stop. Of course, this isn't a full on hockey stop, but it's the beginning of it. And being able to stop properly provides me with some much needed agility, both in terms of skating out, but also looking ahead to playing goal. It's a BIG DEAL and I'm so excited. And I'm excited to be genuinely excited about hockey for the first time in a long while. Mostly it's been drudgery or Red Level Panic in the recent weeks.

So, it's good. I'm still not real confident stopping when I'm going fast and I have to concentrate really hard when I do it, but that will come. Doing lightning would still be a pretty clumsy affair but, again, it will come. It's good. :)


Life_As_A_Redhead  July 31, 2008 at 2:35 PM  

Congradulations. It sounds like REAL progress.

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