Tonight is the last practice on our crappy gym surface and next week we start practicing on our game surface. Oh thank goodness.
The gym is our off season practice surface because the rinks are used for hockey. We typically have the surface from April to mid-September and, from the end of Sept until April we skate in the gym. Last year when I was a fresh meat skater when we were skating on the gym surface and I didn’t realize how crappy it was because I was really focused on learning the skills, not game play. But this year I understand, the last 6 months have been torture.
The biggest problem with the gym surface is that there isn’t a defined track, so it makes game scenario practices hard and it can feel like you aren’t progressing. The gym surface is also incredibly dusty and slippery. My wheels are 86A and I still slip out all the time and have to make sure I clean them before practice. Last week while trying to speed around the gym my feet slid out from under me, and even though I was wearing padding, my hip is still sore from the fall.
So as you can imagine, I am excited to move to our arena, which is a polished concrete surface.
Not only does it mean we have an actual track to skate on and a less slippery surface, but it also signifies that start of our season.
Our first game is in less than a month… eeeeek. It means training will become more focused and intense, and now the real work begins.
I can’t wait!