Podunk Meets Paradise

Musings from Central Idaho

Archive for the tag “cold muthas”

Return of the Cold Muthas

A few years ago, we started Podunk’s official ladies beginner hockey club — the Cold Muthas. We had big ambitions, like learning to get dressed and maybe even skate. For the most part, after 4 seasons, we have accomplished these lofty goals. A kneepad occasionally ends up strapped on the outside of a sock, helmets are put on before jerseys are pulled over heads, etc, but we’re getting there.

While I greatly admire the 75 billionish women who marched in capitol cities throughout the nation last weekend, I must note that few things are more inspirational than grown women learning to play hockey.

The tender toughness of my teammates grounds me in this world. For instance, with the combination of a seriously badass winter and the fact that our rink is starkly outdoors, the Cold Muthas new tag line has become, “Try not to cry.”

cold-muthas-logo

After 4 years, the Cold Muthas have started to have schwag thanks to our teammate Cruella’s artistic beau. OK, and in addition to “Try Not To Cry,” we also prefer to remind ourselves, “What’s Done is Done.” In stores soon!

Yesterday, practicing with possibly only one degree on our side, one of our star offensivewomen, Absolute Zero, was in grave danger of breaking that one small rule as her fingers turned into rake tines in her padded but uninsulated hockey gloves. McMitty, a delicate skater with a series of hip replacements on her resume, quietly came to the rescue. She compassionately attended to Zero’s impending frostbite with her cure-all oven mitt. In the Muthas’ season one, McMitty’s improvisational oven mitt /hockey gloves kept her hands warm. Warmer than anything, in fact. Absolute Zero accepted the kind gesture, persevered with the oven mitt, and went on to significantly contribute to our weekly scrimmage.

mcmitts

McMitty’s improvisational oven mitt/hockey gloves turn out to be hellawarm.

Today, we face challengers from the north in a 2 p.m. sideshow of the Salmon Lady Rapids U19 tournament. Zero managed to pen this elegant prose with her one cold paw still cradled in her armpit:

“Crazy or not, I’m a proud Mutha. I have suckled at the metaphorical teat of the Den Mutha  [author’s note: that’s me, the Den Mutha. And I guess I have a metaphorical teat.] for two winters. Like Ruth, I say, “wither thou goest, I shall go. Thy tournaments shall be my tournaments.”
Pretty sure that’s in the Bible.
At this moment I think of Eisenhower rallying his troops:  “We are about to embark upon a Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months…Our task will not be an easy one. Our enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, and will fight savagely. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!”
Muthas, I feel unfit for the task at hand, but my sense of duty and loyalty surpass my feelings of inadequacy. I would skate with you through the gates of hell wearing a gasoline g-string.

Game On — Cold Muthas v Kelts

The Salmon Hockey Association has historically had 2 adult teams — the Tuesday/Thursday night Good Guys, or more experienced, competitive players, and the Wednesday night Wheelchair League, or more novice players. The Kelts, or spawned out salmon, bubbled up from the ooze of the Wheelchair league. When they challenged the Cold Muthas to a good-natured match, I felt good about our music selection being in order, the fact that we all had helmets and most of us shin guards, and we’d all been on skates at least twice.

It was the late hour of the game — a 9:15 p.m. start — that had me worried. First, there was the issue of our coaches being middle schoolers and not being able to stay out late to line us out. Then there was my own bedtime hour to consider. I’d started the U79 beginner ladies league to avoid the late-night, bleary-eyed shenanigans amateur hockey was famous for. But there is a certain No Crybabies code Cold Muthas must adhere to, so we pulled up our breezers for our first game.

We were beginning to understand why Coach Keyra and Assistant Coach Katherine had wanted to teach us how to play offense and defense.

I won’t lie, our team had some mishaps in our first two outings with the Kelts. The inability to stop became nothing short of a hazard. And our copycat cool move of sitting on the boards instead of on the bench resulted in at least a minor disaster, with some players (namely my sidekick Lucy) falling backwards, and others (namely Pippi Broadknockings) falling into the rink in the middle of play.

But we had an unstoppable ace in the hole. Scrapper, the maker of our territorial beach towel flag, also just happened to be Salmon Hockey’s talk show personality on Podunk’s only radio station KSRA. During the Thursday morning program Penalty Box, Scrapper described our huge margin of victory and the humiliation of the Kelts. Scrapper, as it turned out, is a world-class shit talker.

We were winning the public relations war, and we had the soundtrack to prove it.

Cold Muthas Establish New Hockey Dynasty in First Season

I know I’ve been remiss in reporting the Cold Muthas U79 Hockey League stats, and I’ve left many of you on the edge of your seats. Rest assured, the Muthas have been kicking ass and taking names — and then forgetting where we put the names.
Unlike many amateur adult teams, the Muthas subjected ourselves to a strict coaching regime. On most Friday mornings, we were ordered around by 6th grader and Head Coach Keyra and 7th grade Assistant Coach Katherine. Odd Number, an 8th grader, came out to coach a few mornings, but I think we tried his patience.
Having tweens for coaches required a special sort of discipline for the Muthas. When we fell, for instance, which was often, it seemed inappropriate to call out the expletives that came to mind. Substituting “Darn!” or “Wow!” as our helmets bounced off the ice with our skulls in them invoked a Jedi Mind Warrior kind of concentration.
A perfect example of this was when we scheduled an extra practice on Superbowl Sunday because the rink was available. Coach Keyra decided to use the additional ice time to step up our game. “I’ve noticed that when you fall down, it takes you a long time to get up,” she observed sweetly. She then commanded a series of drills that purposefully required diving on the ice and quickly “popping up.” I put “popping up” in quotes because I never did see any of us do anything that resembled popping up. A slow, painful slither to all fours and then eventually upright again with a lot of Darns and Wows sprinkled in, yes.

https://vimeo.com/60043496
Thanks to the Notorious Babs, my Mutha, for that riveting video footage.

The following week we had a cameo guest coaching appearance by Kitty B, a former hot shot player from Podunk who now heads up the women’s hockey program in Boise. She was clearly impressed by how quickly we had dressed ourselves with the assorted and sundry gear we had assembled over the winter. Still, she expressed alarm by one element of our play.
“Ladies,” Kitty B started, “I have one piece of advice to offer you —  keep your goddamned sticks on the ice!”
The Muthas looked around guiltily at each other. Not only was she right about our stick posture, but now someone had to inform Kitty B that she owed the swear jar (otherwise known as Coach Keyra and Assistant Coach Katherine’s college fund) 25 cents. I watched Kitty demonstrate her slapshot and paid the fine myself. Darn.

Considering we had learned to dress ourselves with little help, made a pump jam playlist, and constructed a Cold Mutha flag out of a bath towel and hockey tape, it would be completely understandable if we called it a successful season. But the Muthas are insatiable adventure junkies. Which is why when the Kelts came to our locker room looking for a good fight, the Muthas were game on.

Cold Muthas Heat Up the Ice

My new women’s hockey team is progressing at a much faster pace than I had anticipated after our 1st practice, which mainly consisted of sorting our gear and convincing our middle school age coaches that we were serious enough to warrant them getting up before noon to help us.

By practice 2, word had spread that something hot was happening on the ice, and we had about 10 Cold Muthas playing red light-green light under the patient tutelage of gifted skater (and 6th grader) Coach Keyra.

Last Friday marked practice 3, and it was clear that even with the addition of 2 new skaters, we were ready for a scrimmage. Maybe we were too anxious to scrimmage, which might explain why when one of the new skaters — who admitted she had entered her 6th decade — couldn’t fit into the toddler size helmet we tried to scrunch on her head, we may have told her that her Floyd R. Turbo-style earflap hat would do just fine.

Floyd R. Turbo with earflap hat or hockey helmet.

Floyd R. Turbo with earflap hat or hockey helmet.

Also, in our haste to stop the endless “skills drills” and get to playing a real game of hockey, we also assumed the other new skater didn’t know how to skate which caused me to not protest when she was put on the opposing team. I was soon to suspect that this “new skater” was none other than Pippi Broadknockings from the Big Mountain Misfits roller derby team.

Now in the pros, NHL players go out on the ice and skate fiercely for 2, maybe 3 minutes at a time, then they leap into the bench area and are relieved by another player. This is called “switching on the fly.” Fortunately, the Cold Muthas were playing 4-on-4 with no substitutes so there was no possibility of “switching on the fly” which would have been re-named “switching while shredding your groin muscle and getting stitches in your forehead.” Instead, we had no breaks. Although this solved the problem of not having to switch on the fly, the endless skating back and forth after the incorrigible puck began to cause breathing difficulties and heart arrhythmia. The only way we could earn a break was to fall or score a point.

To be fair, we did both; but the falls achieved a longer rest period. This is because women who have decided to take up the sport of hockey just a tad after said sports career is totally rational get quite a bit of attention when they fall. Both my children, Her Royal Highness and Odd Number, play hockey and they fall on the ice and get up in one fluid movement. Not so the Cold Muthas. We lie there and stay still for a few minutes to make sure our spine has not shattered and the vertebrae clattered across the rink like spilled ice cubes. The other players stand still also, genuinely concerned, but also genuinely glad to not be skating and to be breathing oxygen.

Coach Conrad asks if we want to just play on half the rink and we turn on him.

I see a chance for my team to score — the puck oh-so-close to the juicy middle of the net — and Pippi Broadstockings doesn’t even see that I’m making my 20-yard move up the ice. But one of the major drawbacks of starting a sport later in life is that your head and your body have to confer about exactly what you are trying to accomplish, rather than the split second mind-body motion of seasoned athletes. My body was doing its best to get me moving as quickly as it felt possible on the ice, but as my mind was starting to try to explain to my body how relatively close the net area is to the wooden boards that connote the end of the rink and that even though we dropped physics in high school so we could take Home Ec Foods II we still should know how this is going to work out …

The entire front of my body hit the boards first, and then by the force of physics, my backside got a turn, my helmet making a sound on the ice like the cracking of an egg. I was incredibly pleased to not be wearing an earflap cap.

Do I have regrets? Absolutely not. I have gotten by just fine without Physics and Foods II has proven to be a lifetime sport.

Cold Muthas — Day 1

I belong to a hockey family, which is code for my house and car smell funny.
wivesLast year marked the beginning of a new era in Podunk hockey — the formation of a hockey league designed for the women who had previously been relegated to washing hockey underthings and working the concession stand.
We are called the Cold Muthas, and we had our first practice of the season this morning.
The primary purpose of our practices is to assemble and then put on our gear. This consumes the first half of our practice, and I’m not surprised to say that we had at least one team member tap out during this part of warm ups. Putting on hockey gear is hard because there is so much of it and it requires such a specific order. My longtime sidekick, Lucy, for instance, finally got her helmet fastened only to discover she’d forgotten to put her jersey on. By the time we got her jersey on over her shoulder and elbow pads, she forgot to put her helmet on and had to return to our locker room.
We are coached by middle schoolers Keyra, Conrad and the Odd Number. When Odd and I were driving home after practice, I talked openly to him about my piss poor hockey stop.
“You’ll get better when you quit worrying about falling,” Odd told me, matter of factly.
I did not tell Odd about the video that his father, Iron Chef, shared with me prior to practice, but I’ll show you:

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