Wednesday 19 September 2018

One day one photo - 19: Hockey goes Pete Tong!

So I have a new hobby for this autumn and winter - hockey. As mentioned before, it was mainly to give me a different focus in sport, and have a bit of a break from the whole cycle (excuse the pun) of bike training and racing etc.

It's going a bit slow, as I have a lot to learn given that I haven't done hockey since I was at school. I am still trying to remember the rules - even how to hold the stick! Sometimes I get a touch of the ball when we do a mini match. A lot of the time I don't. It is not that people don't want to involve me, but more that when the ball comes my way I try and hit it but miss, or I run away from this fast approaching solid object on the relatively smooth astroturf.

I can't get no satisfaction with this gum shield
When I was at school we played on grass and without any form of protection. I remember being hit on the bridge of my nose by a girl when she meant to strike the ball but missed and hit my face instead. She apologised, I said it was okay and we just played on like nothing had happened.

In this day and age of health and safety everyone wears shin pads and a mouth guard, and is a fast game on astroturf. You also get 3-D shots, i.e. people lobbing the ball high into the air and could easily land on your head if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Fortunately I haven't had the chance to "head" a hockey ball. Unfortunately, I have not done well in finding the obligatory shin and tooth protection (only the goalie wears a helmet). I couldn't manage to mould the gum shield into the right shape for my mouth. So when I wear it it doesn't stay properly in place, and when I try to force it into position it just presses at the back of my throat and almost makes me want to vomit. So I haven't been able to wear it.

I always thought there was something a bit odd about my shin pads, and now I have found the problem. They really are odd. When I thought I was buying a pair of size XS shin pads from Lillywhites in Piccadilly Circus, I had actually been given one XS pad, and a medium sized pad. And that's why there was something a bit silly looking about the fit. I was once told by an orthopaedic surgeon that I had different sized legs, so had attributed the imbalanced look to that. But in fact the label confirmed that the sizes were not the same. 

So as well as me needing to find another mouth guard, I need to also find a new pair of shin pads as it was more than a month ago when I bought them and I have worn the pads a number of times.

I haven't actually played that much hockey, but this hobby is already beginning to get expensive. Hopefully, over the coming weeks I will find my hockey nirvana.

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