January 6, 2014 - 4:59pm -- swingbug

People have been asking how hockey's going.

Hockey. Is. Awesome.

I finished up a six-week class with the self-descriptive title of "Skills and Drills" in which I learned how to skate faster, did not learn how to perform backwards crossovers (despite my best intentions), and, at least once per lesson, listened to my instructor bellow, "Shannon, how do you hold your stick?!?"

Don't laugh.

I proudly announced to my family that I was taking up hockey. After which, my mom, who drew my name in the Christmas gift swap this year, presented me with every piece of safety equipment I might possibly need, short of a human-sized version of those big plastic exercise balls they stuff hamsters in to keep them out of trouble.

It took me a little bit of time to get up the courage to actually go down to the rink and suit up for the beginners pick-up game. And I'm sure I blanched white when I realized that 90% of the "beginners" there were all guys who play in the leagues. Fortunely, the shade of my face is hard to read under a hockey helmet with a face cage.

I needn't have been alarmed. As has been my experience thus far, the folks at the hockey rink were a friendly, laid-back group of folk. If I got in their way (as I'm sure I must have) they were polite enough not to give me a hard time about it, and they good-naturedly passed me the puck regardless of whether or not I could catch said pass.

I left the rink feeling great. And I woke up incredibly sore the next morning. Even my turn-out muscles were sore, and I would have thought that if there was any muscle group in my body that ballet had whipped into decent shape, it was that one.

I'm not saying I'm brilliant that this. I'm way not. But I think I'm getting a little better. And I'm having a blast.

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