I've been remiss in posting updates about my on ice activity the last few weeks, but I assure you I have been getting out there and giving it all I've got. Since my last update, I've been to two more free skates, plus a power skating class and two skills classes. I feel like I've come quite a long way in this short period of time.
When I went to my first skate a few weeks ago, about all I could do was skate forward with both blades on the ice. Since then, I've been able to skate backwards, do forward crossovers to the left (and almost to the right), turn on my inside and outside edges, and transition from forwards to backwards and vice versa. I still can't hockey stop yet, and that's bugging me. I feel the lack of this vital skill is becoming too limiting. I might look into a few private lessons to learn how to do it.
I'm sure a good chunk of this rapid progress is muscle memory returning from my inline days as a teenager, but I'm enjoying the hell out of challenging my body and teaching it to do new things.
The power skating class I took last week wasn't really worth the money. It was only a half hour, so there was very little time for personal instruction. I don't think I'll be going back to that class.
The skills classes, on the other hand, have been a blast. We did a lot of skating drills during the first class. That's where I started to really pick up more skating technique. The confidence boost I got from wearing full pads and helmet helped quite a bit.
In addition to the skating drills, we also drilled on passing, shooting, 1 on 1's, and 2 on 1's. I was pretty horrible at all of it. My one shining moment was clearing the puck during one of the 2 on 1's when I was on D.
Things went much better for me during my second skills class. There were only a few skating drills this time, and we did a lot more 3 on 3 drills in confined spaces. My lack of skating ability was a hinderance, so I focused on how the play was developing and tried to be in the right place on the ice. I got left behind more often than not, but I broke up my fair share of plays by not giving up on separating the puck from the carrier.
It also paid off to the tune of an assist and 3 goals. (with a goalie in net even) My first goal came off a rebound, the next was off a one timer, and the last was during a 2 on 1. I have no illusions that I could perform like that in an actual game, but it made me feel like I might just have a head for this sport if my body can catch up.
Speaking of which, I realized over the last week just how grossly out of shape I've become. I had a raging headache after my first classes that didn't go away until the next afternoon. Tonight, I came very close to puking my toes up. If nothing else comes from this adventure, at least it's encouraging me to start a regular exercise regimen again.
And that about brings us up to date. I'm going to stick time tomorrow to work on more skating and on ice stick handling. I'm very much looking forward to it.