I can’t wait for this hockey season to start. As part of the Week of Welcome for freshmen, the ice rink had open skating on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, so I went all three nights. It went a lot better than I expected, having not been on ice in six months. My skates are pretty dull, but my feet felt fine, I was doing OK, and my back didn’t even start bothering me until Wednesday night.

It turned out to be a better warm-up for hockey than I expected. I just wanted to spend some time skating hard to get back into it, but when there’s 60 people in the rink, you have to maneuver pretty well to avoid killing freshmen. Really, there’s no better way to practice that than actually doing it. Skating with a stick always makes you better: you focus on handling the puck and ignore your feet, so they do what they need to do. The same thing happens on a full rink: you focus on avoiding people, and your feet just handle it. You can’t think about it too much, or you can’t do it.

I went down a few times, but it was funny every time. Fotios and I tried a high-speed dosido, which resulted in a warning from the rink staff and a bloody elbow. On Wednesday, after 45 minutes of people doing laps, the entire rink was covered in about an eigth-inch of standing water. I took a turn too hard, forgetting how dull the skates were, and went out sideways. I was absolutely soaked, along with everything in my wallet.

I didn’t have much to do today and I felt like shopping, so I picked up some new laces for both my rollerblades and ice skates. I broke one set, so I’ve been swapping a set of laces back and forth between the two pairs of skates, which was wearing them out pretty quick. I also decided to get a new stick, because I cracked the blade at the elbow late last season. It’s still holding together, but I don’t know how much longer it would last, so it’s been relegated to street hockey play only. The new one bends back a little bit at the end of the blade, so it’ll be good for flipping the puck off the wall or over other sticks.

Tomorrow around noon, I’m going shopping again with Lucas and Fonny. Lucas will be getting equipment, like he’s been promising since last winter. Fonny wants to see how much the gear will cost him before he decides if he wants to play, but he sounded pretty interested.

It’s going to be a good quarter.