The Ice Hockey season is over (nooooo) and although my team the Invicta Dynamos didn’t win the play offs (thanks to the Wightlink Raiders) we did win the NIHL Southern cup, so all in all a not too shabby season. We didn’t have a great start with imports being unreliable and then the most devastating event was my favourite player, Chris Douglas, our awesome goaltender leaving. But I stuck with it and attended as many games as I could still supporting my local team.
For the first time in my life I have actually found a sport I am passionate about. I never used to understand how people could sit and watch someone play a sport and not want to join in! I can tell you now; I wouldn’t want to join in with their games, high speed, pucks flying everywhere and fights! But I absolutely love watching it and I will scream in the stands when I think it’s justified. Yes that’s right I do shout at the players; there’s something oddly satisfying about shouting ‘turd’ when the opposition make a dodgy move on your team! My newfound love actually started last season and I genuinely think it will continue. I am not a ‘puck bunny’ only there to ogle the players, even if our old goalkeeper was rather dishy, I think my loyalty has proven I am there for more than that. You feel a sense of pride when you wear your jersey and you see the players fight tooth and nail for the fans.
Ice hockey has also impacted in other areas of my life. Naturally watching people with immense skating skills every weekend rubs off on you. I have started to skate myself! I was a complete novice at the start but fuelled with a bucket load of inspiration and a dash of determination I went from Bambi on ice to a not so bad skater. I don’t fall over so much anymore and I can even skate backwards all be it very slow, but its still progress!
Much like ice hockey not getting enough recognition in England, I actually think ice-skating as a form of good exercise is completely underrated. I have found my fitness levels increasing slowly. While it might not feel like a mega sweat inducing work out, in the long run regular skating is going to build up specialised muscle as of course you need to keep your balance. You will naturally gain stronger core strength and of course a nice toned bum with all that work! I don’t see how you can go wrong. Now my bum isn’t toned yet but if you knew what I had to work with (Think Kim Kardashian size) then you’d understand I am not expecting miracles over night.
I am also obviously not suggesting that a casual skate around the rink is a rigorous workout, maybe if I was going at the speed of a hockey player, but at my pace not so much. I do believe however, it to be more exciting than that boring treadmill in a sweaty gym. Plus ice-skating can be really relaxing once you get over the fear of falling flat on your back in front of strangers. That and with enough practise soon enough you can show off your skills and be the envy of your friends.
I think people need to get out of this mentality that to be fit and healthy you have to join a gym. It’s nonsense! When I think gym I think, ridiculously expensive membership that you start using when you make a resolution on New Years Eve but lose motivation by the end of January and end up throwing your money away for the remainder of the year. Now when you think gym, maybe a different image comes to mind and that’s great, if it works for you stick with it. I just believe that other options are just as good if not better, especially if you are like me and you don’t want a six-pack or hulk arms. That and if the idea of a half hour run next to a flawless fitness model on a treadmill fills you with dread then maybe alternative methods are more your spice of life.
Overall, ice hockey has changed my outlook on both loving a sport and enjoying exercise. I didn’t think I’d ever willing enjoy either and now I adore both. I truly believe if you enjoy exercising then that is half the battle, as you know you are more like to stick to something if you like it. Now if only I could stick to cutting out those pesky cakes and crisps I would probably have the body of a female Adonis (is that even a thing?) if not then I’m claiming that title as my own!