Ask the old Fart who is finally just learning to play hockey

To take my mind off recent sadder things I have decided to share my 17 week adventure that is about to start Monday.
Here’s the background: I’m getting close to 40 (sigh) and as a man of that age it’s time for my midlife crisis to start. I’m not into cars and infidelity is definitely out for me. I have a full head of hair so no I’m not getting a toupee, hair plugs or going for the Mr Clean look. That leaves me my one childhood dream that I never realized I had.

Playing Hockey! Specifically, ice Hockey, for those who have different interpretations of the word Hockey.

I had played a total of two hours as a six year old before my father decided 6AM wasn’t worth getting up for. Since then the only hockey I’ve played was the street variety and even then not as much as I wanted.

I have skated over the years with just enough skill to move forward and occasionally turn a wide turn on the rink. That was good enough until now. My 9 year old, who plays in a competitive league, skates circles around me. In fact he is bored skating with me because I can’t keep up to play tag with him.

I have enjoyed watching his games and practices but I had a yearning to get off of the bench and do more with my flabby fatso body!
I’m Squeezing into the Armour grabbing a stick and hitting the ice with a whole group of other adult beginners. I found a course in my area and with the help of another hockey dad who never got to play as a kid I have signed up.

We start with a 10 week course then 7 weeks of games! Monday will be my first lesson and I’m as excited as a kid at Christmas.

I purchased my gear and have gone to a few public skates to break out the rust.
Now all I have left is the anticipation and the overwhelming fear of my first coronary when I hit the ice.

If you have any questions I’d love to answer and I will update each week, including every ache and pain I’ll be going through.

Good for you! Hockey players are sexy!

That is an excellent mid-life crisis! One of my regrets in life is that in spite of skating like the wind as a kid (we usually had skating ice in the backyard), I let the skill go as an adult and can hardly skate now. Good for you for getting back to it.

Well to be honest there are a few people I have met at the introductary meeting who are also beginner skaters… so it’s never too late to learn.

This is going to be one very unsexy hockey player.

I tried on my full gear for my wife and she thought it made me look like a goon. I’m 6’2" and on the heavy side, but luckily it is spread around so I don’t look what I weigh.

She said I’d look intimdating to the others… I don’t believe that.

Oh, believe it - 6’2" is what, 6’5" in skates? With full gear on? “Intimidating” is a good word for what you’ll look like. :slight_smile:

Welcome to the ranks!

As my username suggests, I too started at a late age (30).

It’s awesome.

Playing with 20 year olds is getting a little aggravating. They tend to take out some aggressions on the ice - as long as you check your ego at the door, you’ll be fine.

IMO, concentrate on the skating and stickhandling on the ice for now. Work on your shot on the driveway.

And when it’s time to play, do like I do (at 6’3" and > 250lbs) - go to the net!

Good advice! I yell that at my son every game, that and SKATE SKATE SKATE! Not to worry I’m not a goon. Actually my son is looking forward to giving me unwanted tips on the drive home.

By unhappy (for me) circumstances, His dry land training is held in the same building on the same day as my practices. He will be watching with his friend (the son of the other Hockey dad) with great interest.

Please don’t downplay this. It happens in men’s leagues a lot more frequently than you’d think.

Oooh, I’m jealous! I pretty much can’t skate and have never handled a hockey stick, not even for street hockey, but I’ve become addicted to the sport in the past year and really want to learn one day! My husband wants to buy me skates so he can teach me to do more than go forward slowly, and maybe one day I’ll pick up a stick. I’d use his, but he’s much taller than me, and it seems I’m a lefty, while he’s a righty! Though to be honest, I’d love to learn to be a goalie! I have no depth perception, so swinging a stick and hitting a puck is likely to fail more often than not, but on the other hand, I’m very good at running into things! But we can’t afford gear for me for a while yet, even used. Maybe once I graduate, and have much more time!

And I agree that hockey players are sexy. When my husband got all new gear this year, he tried it all on at home, and I think he’d agree that I reacted…favourably…to it! :smiley: Oh, and Henrik Lundqvist. Yeah.

WEEK 1: The Weak one

Well that was more fun and work than I had expected. All yesterday I was in anticipation of getting into my equipment and Jersey and on pins and needles.

Getting dressed with the team was great I felt like a kid imagining myself as an NHLer. We hit the ice… and I didn’t, at least at first. We met with our instructor and he was a great guy. He told us right away he’d laugh if we fell and so would everyone else, because its funny. Believe it or not it put us at ease.

At first I thought it would be an easy first outing… nope. You know you are in trouble when during the stretching you are starting to get tired.

No pucks for the first three weeks we are working on fundamentals of balance and control.
First exercise: Skating down the ice lifting the left leg then swinging it to the side and back.
Tough but I did it.
Next the right leg.
Next holding the stick out and kicking up at it. Very hard.
And so on and so on.

I realized I was already breathing heavy and sweating. looking up there was 35 minutes to go.

YIKES!! How can my kid do this at full speed.

As I gained some confidence and speed I realized my stopping ability was negligible. I even crashed into the boards once banging the back of my helmet against it.

Protection or not… you really feel that. I gave myself a second to make sure I didn’t have any adverse reaction to that, But I was fine. By the time we were working on strides I felt no pain except the fact I was exhausted and winded.

When we were doing stopping exercises I was too weak. The only thought I had was… Don’t puke Don’t puke!

By the time it was over I was wiped out… But I never felt better or worse than that!

I hate exercise. I’ve done the treadmill but got no joy from it. This time… I was glad I felt like that!
I couldn’t sleep last night. I felt like a kid… I giant tubby 39 year old kid.

Of course this morning, muscles I never knew I had are reminding me of their presence.

Plan for this week. Treadmill on Wednesday and Saturday to build up my cardio… Friday Night I go on the rink and work on stopping and balance.

Take up racquetball. Hockey requires speed and skating ability. I can picture you trying to shoot a puck while trying to keep from falling down. By the way, pucks hurt and they seek the places between pads .

Nope already made my choice. Besides with my long legs my strides will give me the speed I’ll need. Besides, I can glide and coast and depend on my team more than racketball. :smiley:

I’ve played hockey for 19 years. Every time I step on the ice after a few months off, I get sore muscles. Even when I’ve been in the best shape of my life, doing sprints and lifting weights every day, getting back on the ice is killer. It seems that there are muscles in the legs and lower back that are only used for skating! But, after a few skates, it gets better, so hang in there.

Welcome to the best sport on earth!

Stay with it, King. And while I am not a doctor and you should never take medical advice from a message board -------- Absorbine Jr comes in a veterinarian strength. It’s even in big quart sized bottles and cheap too. :smiley:
(Honest - I do use it. But my GP cleared it first.)

Congratulations for getting into hockey! I played for awhile (around the same age, just a few years ago) and it was a lot of fun. If it wasn’t for my current WoW addiction, I’d probably still be playing.

We had a guy on one of our beginner-league teams who was in his 70s, and the captain of our team was in his 60s. So 40’s not so old! :slight_smile:

When you’re skating for practice while not playing hockey, I’d still wear the helmet. I wiped out on the ice a few years back, and I still remember lying on the ice with the little birdies tweeting around my head.

Seconded. It’s amazing how fast you can go ass over teakettle and end up flat on your back. And ice hurts.

Woohoo! Good for you. I am mildly envious. I can’t skate at all and have a pretty banged up ankle that makes it more sensible to perhaps not throw myself into a hockey league right now. (But maybe I’ll try skating around an out door rink this winter.) I played field hockey for years and loved it. I love watching ice hockey. Go for it, and have fun out there!

I think it must be pretty exciting to be just starting, too, and not have a predetermined sense of what position you’re going to end up or what role you’ll take on. I played D and goal for so long in field hockey that even if I did take up ice hockey now I just can’t picture being an offensive player!

Good luck, and I am looking forward to reading updates!

One of my biggest regrets was not taking up hockey when I was offered the chance at 23. I really wish I had, I would have ten years under my belt now!

:rolleyes: Oh please. I hope you’re sighing because you realize how young you are.