na foine ting

Friday, December 16, 2005
Before you do anything else today, go vote and help make sure Olympic curling doesn't get more network coverage than ice hockey.


Yesterday was rough on the ice.

It's my fault: I've been skating with a 1/2" hollow since I broke my foot, mostly since during the rehab process trying to keep my feet and my edge was hard enough as it was without making it more difficult with tetchy skates.

This last week or so, I'd been feeling like 1/2" was fast, and enjoying that, but *real* slidy around the corners and boards, when what I wanted was control. I mean, control being relative in my case, but still.

So for the first time since March, I asked the guy to put something a little toothier on there for me. This wasn't the bored and mouthy guys down at the Decathlon pro shop, this was a real skate guy at a ski and skate shop down by Becca's work in Newton. He nodded like he got what I was talking about, and came back with my skates, said he put 3/8" on there and that should do me.

It did. Did me straight into the ice, into the boards, into other skaters. I'd forgotten that for the control the tradeoff is less sliding surface, and a fuck of a lot more work. Two strides where I'd been taking one, feeling like Fred Flinstone getting the car started, feet churning, trying to get out of the neutral zone.

I'm starting to engage again. More confident, taking more risks, getting in there, which in my case leads to a lot of wild tail-chasing and overcompensation.

A few moments of real worth out there, that I might not have had otherwise. But a lot of big, blatant mistakes, too. Tripping over myself, sent slamming into the boards. Not once. Three times. Too much contact, a lot of times.

Miscalculations that led directly to the puck in our net.

I must have apologized to the goalie a half dozen times.

On the other hand, once I jumped on the puck and kept it in at the corner. Almost got stood up by the guy carrying it, banged off the boards, but the puck stayed in. As I climbed off the ice, one of the guys who plays blindingly well (they all do, but no, he's really, *really* good -- along the lines of tribal necklace guy; a younger player, faster, highly, almost preternaturally intuitive out there) hockey tapped me.

Even if it was only about the effort, it was good, and I sat and felt like it was worth the risks, worth screwing up that much more in a big way if I was trying harder.

Got home and eveything hurt. Like it hasn't in a long time, different than the first day, which was mostly shock of 'whoa, exercise' and being out of shape. This was battered, bruised. Whiplashed. All the times I'd ignored hurt or fear and pushed, really pushed.

Sat and cried for a while. Whined to Bec, whined to Chris, got sent to bed.

Today my neck's still stiff and sore, but I have the sense of it all being worth it, and it's good.

Virginie and I had been asking about a practice, but Paul says it can't happen right now, for a bunch of reasons. His solution was assigning us a 'hockey mentor,' someone to hang out with before and after the games, who'll help us with skills and improving. I'm skeptical about how much can be done in fifteen minutes of stick time, but on the other hand, my passing's gone straight to hell and any work is good work.

I think the main benefit is accountability, in that case. And as far as my play goes, a lot more direction, a lot less spinning my wheels, which would be a very good thing.

I'm apprehensive. Want to do well, want to not piss off or disappoint whoever it is. I don't know any of these guys well enough not to feel that. There's not the comfort I'd have with Brian, or any of a handful of other guys at home.

On the other hand, maybe that'll make me work harder, who knows.


It is, in case you don't live here or if you do, you haven't noticed, *cold*.

Fucking cold.

Bec and I agree it's nowhere near what we were afraid of, that somehow it'd be unliveable. It's not. We had our big snowtorm with the swirling wind and blinding flakes, thunder and lightning. I shoveled the sidewalk and the stairs while Lili climbed around in it in her snowsuit, chuckling when she sank in up to her elbows and got powder on her nose.

We're learning when to crank the heater, and not to go out without gloves.

But there's still some shocks, here and there. I walked out of the rink and by the time I'd gotten to the truck, my wet hair was crunchy. Crunchy, that's *frozen*, thank you, between the MIT sports center and the parking lot.

That and the moment of sitting on the bench tilting my water bottle up to my lips and having it go not "slosh" but "thunk" and no water coming out.

Minor adjustments. But the winter so far is beautiful, deep and heavy and complete all around us. A real sense of all life halted, arrested.

Except for we silly out of season ants scurrying around in our parkas and mufflers, on the serene surface of the snow.

I voted!

Even though it won't do me a blind bit of good. ~l~ But, still. Curling? I'll probably get curling fans all over me for saying this, but I can't imagine how boring your life must be to find that exciting. :\
You know, of all the kinds of fans there are out there, to have *curling* fans all over you... really.


I'll still take pictures, though.
The hockey voting has been scewed, a lot of us have been using virtual mouse programs to constantly vote every 5 seconds :) since we saw curling was so high. Hockey votes have gone up dramatically. Cheating...yes. Who cares.

Kate, that was brave of you to change your hollow like that. It'll take a while to get used to. Hopefully, you are running into the other team, and not your own players :)
Obviously I need to curl more often.

Or put more crack in my coffee.
we silly out of season ants scurrying around in our parkas and mufflers, on the serene surface of the snow.

Love these susserating sounds, Kate
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