Just Another Average Hockey Mom Week

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Well, we have finally gotten out of the deep-freeze, at least for a little bit. We actually broke a record for the most consecutive days under 20°, and at least half of those days we were only up to single digits. I made it through 11 of the 12 days on my regular running schedule, including Friday morning, when I ran 4 miles at -2° before work.

When I posted the pictures on Facebook, I had a lot of comments about how tough and/or crazy I was, but honestly, all that cold-weather running really took its toll on me. As the days wore on, I found my energy being sapped, and Thursday night, I was so exhausted, I went to bed at 7 PM!

Although I ran Friday morning, by Friday night, I was totally done with cold-weather running. So, for the first time I think ever, I completely bailed on my running partners Saturday morning. When I saw that the low Friday night was going to be somewhere in the range of -4°, I texted them Friday afternoon and told them I was out for our Saturday morning run. Surprisingly, none of them complained. 😉 To her credit, though, Ann did run on the treadmill Saturday morning.

Still, although I skipped my long run for the week, I still had plenty of activity points that I hadn’t used. I tried really hard to follow the new Freestyle program as it was designed. We had a lot of low-point meals last week, including turkey soup, and some chicken dishes that had either zero or one point total. I like to have a 2- or 3-ounce glass of wine at least a couple of times during the week, but I was too tired for alcohol, so I skipped the wine, too. So, between the low-point dinners, the lack of alcohol, and just in general going to bed early and therefore not snacking at night, I actually had my first week where I had a “blue dot“ every day.

Since I followed the plan as it was meant to be, I really expected that big gain from last week would disappear (and then some) when I weighed in this week. However…

Not so much. I know, I shouldn’t be disappointed with the loss, but I really didn’t think I’d hang onto my holiday weight, especially after a week where I thought I was eating the way I was supposed to! I looked back over my meals, and I thought about those low-point dinners that I had. Sure, they were low in points, but because of that, I didn’t feel guilty having extra. I mean, what was the difference between having one serving or one and a half servings, when you’re talking zero or one point, right? I love chicken breast, and it’s good for me, right? Along with all the kidney beans and Northern beans and corn that are also zero points, right? Right?? In looking at the scale, though, now I’m not so sure.

While I ponder the merits of the Freestyle program, let me tell you what happened to me last weekend. It’s a pretty long story that you can skip if you are so inclined, but it might provide you with a little entertainment, if nothing else.

Both boys had hockey games Friday night and Saturday night. JJ’s games were just regular season ones, but Jamie had a local tournament that had a game Friday night and another one Saturday, with the time dependent on how they did on Friday. They played well Friday night, but unfortunately they lost 2-0, so that meant we got to do the earlier game on Saturday night.

Unfortunately, the rink where Jamie‘s games were held had horrible lighting and incredibly dirty glass. The pictures that I took of his game Friday night turned out terrible. I never shoot from the bench, because I don’t want to take the chance that I would be in the way of the players or the coaches. I have this dreaded fear that I will do something that will cause a player to make a mistake and cost us the game. (I’m sure it sounds silly, but if a player can’t get back on the bench quickly enough because I’m in the way, and another player goes out from the other door, that’s a “too many men on the ice” penalty and that’s bad!).

On Friday night, I noticed while I was shooting that there was a photographer standing very close to our player bench, but not actually on the bench, taking photographs during the game. I figured he was from the local paper, and I thought about it overnight and decided that if he could stand essentially on the bench and take pictures, then there should be no reason why I couldn’t. It was unobstructed by glass, but it wasn’t in the way of the door to the ice.

So Saturday night, I mustered my confidence and strode over to that little spot as the game was getting ready to start and just took it upon myself to start shooting pictures. The coaches actually said hi to me and didn’t act like I was in the way, so I felt like I would be OK to shoot there. A few minutes later, the newspaper photographer came back, and he was quite chatty. We talked quite a bit during the stoppages in play.

The downside to shooting from that spot was that I was unable to easily get down to the other end to shoot, so all my pictures for our offensive zone on the first period were pretty far away. Still, they were unobstructed, and that’s always nice!

At the start of the second period, when the teams switch ends, I had a front row seat for our offensive plays. It was pretty great! Although the lighting at the rink was still terrible, being so close to the action and having nothing to obstruct my shooting really made for some pretty cool shots, or at least I thought so.

With about 4 or 5 minutes left in the second period, I started to think that maybe for the third period, I would ask if I could go up to the little loft area above the scorekeepers box so that I could shoot unobstructed, but be more in the middle. It’s higher than I would prefer, but would give me closer access to our offensive zone. Right about the time that I was thinking that, the play moved back into our offensive end. We were ahead 2-1 at this point, and the game was getting pretty intense. The play moved directly in front of me, too close for me to actually get any shots, so I waited with my right arm in position, finger on the shutter button, for the skaters to move a little farther away so I could start shooting again. As I stood there waiting, one of the defenseman on the other team got the puck and shot it hard against the boards to get it out of their zone. Only, he didn’t actually shoot it against the boards…he shot it directly at my forearm.

Holy shit. 😮

I’m sure if I could’ve actually spoken any words at that moment, that’s what I would’ve said, but it hurt so bad that I literally could not speak. I still had my left hand holding up my camera via the monopod that it sits on, but I had to lean back and bring my right arm close to my body and just gasp for air. And yet, even though I was in excruciating pain, all I could think of is that I did not want to interrupt the game. So as the paper photographer and a couple of the assistant coaches came over and asked me if I was OK, I just nodded and gasped out, “I’m fine. I’m fine.“  I don’t actually know if they stopped the game because the puck technically went out of play, or if it continued on. I just know that I stopped taking pictures and just tried to focus on breathing through the pain in my arm.

I know the play eventually continued, because within a minute, our team had scored again. Of course, then I felt guilty that I had missed this prime shot of a goal, so I raised my arm back up and got into position to take a couple shots through the glass (I had moved away from the open spot at that point, for good reason!) of the celebration. After I finished a couple shots, I stopped and just kind of raised and lowered it in hopes that the intense stinging would go away, and I happened to notice out of the corner of my eye that the kid who shot the puck at me was near the glass. When he caught my eye, I could see him say, “Are you OK?“ Aww, poor kid, it was pretty clear that he actually did feel bad!

The play continued on, but I found myself unable to take more pictures. I stood there behind the glass just to the side of where I had originally been, now deathly afraid of getting shot by another puck. I wanted to take more pictures, but I simply couldn’t. There were about four minutes left in the period, and I told myself that I could just shoot for four more minutes and then I could go sit down in my car and try to get the pain to subside. But as I continued to stand there, the pain not only got worse, but all of a sudden I found myself feeling dizzy, my vision got blurry, and I finally realized that if I didn’t get out of there, I was going to pass out right there next to the bench! And I was pretty sure that would distract the players. Well, maybe not MY kid… 😛

Somehow I managed to stagger out from behind the bench, around the boards, and into the lobby. I desperately needed to get off my feet, but of course that was the moment in which there were no free chairs available. I continued to stumble my way through the main lobby until I got into the second open area, where once again, there were no free chairs. I finally gave up and dropped to the floor, where I had the forethought to partially collapse my mono pod so that no one would trip over it and then I leaned back against the connecting wall.

I sat there for several minutes, and all I could think of was that I needed to text my husband to tell him to come out and find a way to get me to the car so I could lay down, but my head was spinning too much for me to do anything other than sit there with my head back against the wall with my eyes closed.

My husband later told me that he came out after the second period had ended to find me in that position, with no clue as to what had happened. He said he asked me why I was sitting on the floor, and all I responded was, “Dizzy.” Then he asked me what happened, and he said I waited a long time before I finally muttered, “Did you not see me get hit with the puck?” It turns out he hadn’t seen it, and pretty much nobody I knew saw it except for the coaches and players on the bench.

A mom and a dad from our team came out to the lobby and found me while Jason was still trying to figure out what happened. He said I told him I needed to go to the car, and I do remember all three of them lifting me up from the floor before Jason led me down the very long hallway and out into the frigid cold air to my car. I stayed there for a while, and Jason came out with my camera and bag to check on me. It was about half an hour before I stopped being dizzy, and at that point I asked Jason if the second period had started. He said it had, and that the score was 4-3 about halfway through the third. Even though just half an hour earlier, I had sworn I was done for the night, I just couldn’t stop myself from wanting to see the end of what was turning out to be an exciting game. So, probably against all good sense, I managed to pick up my camera and make the long trek back to the rink, where I photographed the last five minutes of the game. And the good news is…they won!

So that’s my story. I know I’m not the first person to be hit with a hockey puck, and there are plenty others who’ve had it way worse than me. But I will tell you, if you ever wondered what it felt like to get hit with a puck shot at full force from close range, it hurts like a mother. 😮  I’ve had a few painful injuries in my life, but never one that caused me to nearly pass out!

I did manage to go to dinner with the team afterwards, and I got a lot of good-natured teasing from team families. One of the dads told me I deserved the game puck, which made me laugh. Most of them suggested that I need to be in full gear the next time I shoot from the bench, but I can assure you, there won’t be a next time. It’s been five days, and my arm is still very sore, although it doesn’t look like much. It’s only just now starting to develop a yellowish tone. I honestly thought that by now I’d have a bruise that could frighten small children. 😛

Thanks for reading my melodramatic hockey mom story. 🙂 I know it has nothing to do with fitness or weight loss, but it does have a little something to do with photography, and mostly I just wanted to record it so that I can look back on it years from now and laugh. At least, I hope I’ll be laughing… 😉

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