life beyond baby

Yes, I actually used to go out before Maddy was born. Taken at Hastings racetrack

We’ve been settling in pretty well here now. Most days are filled with various mom and baby activities, or playdates. However, there’s still a piece missing – life beyond baby. I’m with Madison all day, every day. This was also the case back home, but at least then I still had some time and opportunity to be other things: a wife, a friend, a hockey player, a colleague. It’s been challenging here to be anything but a mother, and occasionally a wife. Last weekend, Murray and I actually had a night out to ourselves and went to the hockey game. (And yes, it was awesome to watch our Canucks beat the Flames… again!!) Still, it’s been even rarer to have time just to myself.

I’ve connected with a few other moms, but as expected, all or most of the discussion is around babies. What does your baby sleep like? When did his teeth come in? Is he walking a lot? How is she with eating her solid food? Oh, yeah, Madison has done that, too…. I have been missing non-baby conversations. Well – that’s about to change.

Last night, I went to the Northeast Arena for the Hockey North America meet and greet. Summer season starts at the beginning of next month, and Murray and I are both being placed on teams. I went with a cheque to pay for our spots, go over the league rules, and meet some people that we might be playing with. There were only a few people that showed up, but it was still great to talk hockey! The other females there were, uh, how do I put this gently…. Well, let’s just say that I was the only one who probably owns a pair of heels. When the organizer said that there might not be enough players for a women’s only team, I thought to myself: It wouldn’t matter anyway! A couple of these chicks are bigger than some of the dudes in this room anyway. Yikes.

So, Murray and I will be playing on different teams, so that we don’t have to worry about finding someone to watch Madison. He’ll be in net, and I’ll play out. We should have our schedule by the end of the week, so I’m looking forward to seeing when and where our games will be. The weird thing about hockey leagues here is that you don’t have a regular rink like back home. You drive all over the city to different arenas, just like in minor hockey. In a way, it’s cool, because you get to play in different facilities, and for us it will be a good way to see other parts of the city. But on the other hand, it stinks because you could have to drive all the way to the other end of town to get to a game. It’s a 16 game season and ten of our games will be before 10PM and the other six will be after 10PM. I’m grateful that I’m not working right now, because that would stink to have to play an 11PM game in SE Calgary and then have to drive all the way back up here to the NW.

Anyhow, as much as I’m enjoying all these mom and baby programs that I’ve signed up for, and trust me, it’s what’s keeping me sane, I am really looking forward to getting some time to be me again. You know, being competitive, talking some trash, and shoving aside some D who’s trying to keep me out of the crease… it’s gonna be great.

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jumping over the boards

I haven’t played hockey since December 2009. For someone who usually plays 2 times a week, this means that I’ve probably put on a lot of rust. I used to play on two teams, my Women’s team, the Martinis, and my coed team, the Huskies. My coed team is made up of husbands/wives, girlfriends/boyfriends, sons/daughter/dads, and neighbors. So, we’re pretty close knit. And we’re also not very good. Not to say we’re crappy hockey players, but let’s just say we belong in the lower division where we are currently placed.

Huskies Coed Hockey Team

 

The hockey is fun, but I feel like a big part of why we play is also just to hang out with each other every Friday night. We’re not 20 anymore, so this is our social time! I have missed hockey a ton, especially when my fatigue had worn off a bit during my pregnancy and I was able to go out and watch a few games. It sucks to watch from the sidelines! Especially when we were losing, I really wished that I could be out there trying to make a difference. I’m competitive and it killed me to not be out there playing my ass off. I’m not the most skilled player, but I can skate pretty well and no one could ever say I took a shift off. I’ve played sports my whole life, and it’s hard to not be right in the thick of things.

Back in eighth grade, I had an inclination to be a cheerleader. The outfits were cute, I liked to dance, and I had taken gymnastics as a kid. But then I found out that the season and schedule conflicted with actually playing on the team. So, I had to make a decision – cheer for the Boys team or play on the Girls team. The choice was obvious. (Unfortunately for me, I missed parts of a few games because I kept getting fouled out of games. See – that competitive streak again…)

You can imagine how pumped I am to finally be playing my first game back tonight. I have no idea how I’ll do. Hopefully I remember how to skate. I suppose skating is sort of like riding a bicycle, but I guess we’ll find out tonight. I haven’t really exercised much during my pregnancy or after I gave birth. The most I’ve done is some walking. I did buy a pregnancy yoga DVD at the start of the year, but I only actually used it twice. It will be interesting to see how my lungs hold up. I could be completely gassed after 30 seconds! Hopefully I do OK, and I’m not completely written off tomorrow.

I have gotten the go ahead from the doc to start exercising again, but she cautioned me to take it slow and see how I feel. I have also read that doing strenuous exercise can deplete your milk supply. Since breastfeeding is extremely important to me, I want to make sure that I don’t overdo it. Keeping this in mind should be a good incentive for me to take things slow.

I have a tendency to push myself too much, so I need to be really aware of how I’m feeling and actually pay attention to what my body is telling me. A perfect example would be when I did the Sun Run a couple of years ago. I was never a “runner” even though I played tons of sports. It seemed boring and pointless. However, after doing one of those Survivor Boot Camps, I saw a huge improvement in my running ability and decided to keep running after our class had ended. I actually grew to enjoy running and continued to run a few times per week. Running for the sake of running just didn’t cut it for me, though – I needed a challenge: Do the Vancouver Sun Run. It’s a 10K run, and a joined a training club to help me prep. My goal was not just to complete the run, it was to be able to run the entire 10K with no stopping or walking. It turns out my body just isn’t made for long runs. My flat feet and curved shin bones meant I was putting a lot of pressure on my ankles and knees. Being as stubborn and competitive as I am, I continued to train through the discomfort. On race day, I felt like my knee was going to explode around the 7K mark, but I pushed through it. I literally limped the last kilometer, all the time telling myself that I HAD to keep going, I was so close to achieving my goal. It turns out I did myself a major disservice. I had what looked like a golf ball sticking out of my knee the next day, and spent the next several weeks in rehab.

So, when I jump over the boards tonight (not literally, I’m too short and I’d definitely fall on my butt), I have to remember to take it easy, even when I think I can take the puck away from that guy in the corner…

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