I am alive & kicking!

Despite the fact that I had more time on my hands, I was neglecting my blog until this morning and I do apologise for my laziness. It was not that I was being a couch potato, watching Netflix non-stop but I was on my feet most of the time, training or doing housekeeping.

I’m obsessed about my snap shot…

I am always a bit of busy bee and hate sitting around unless I’m ill. So you can easily imagine what this coronavirus lockdown has been affecting my psyche? I feel like I’m a trapped animal and struggling to be free!

Exercising hard and feeling exhausted by the end of day does help to alleviate my frustration towards this house arrest. The fatigue makes me feel like I am getting somewhere and becoming a better hockey player than pre-lockdown me.

There is one image in my head which spurs me on. The image of me chasing a puck along the board, racing with my teammates and beating them. The vision really helps me pedal harder on an exercise bike and motivates me to keep on lifting a barbell.

I am sure all of us under the lockdown hold images like mine close to hearts which give us comfort and help us to look forward to future. Even though no one knows what kind of future awaits us, we have to keep hoping it will be a better one and we will rejoice together.

In the meantime, I will step away from my manic exercise regime time to time and update my blog more often…

Life so far

Today is the fifth day of the lockdown and Hubbie and I are getting on with our “STAY AT HOME” life.

At the beginning, I was worried about Hubbie, who was a workaholic, would not cope well with being idle. However, he has been snowed under with a sudden influx of new and existing projects since last Tuesday and therefore very busy. I am secretly relieved to see him hunching over the desk and having Skype conferences with his staffs and clients.

So how am I getting on with this holing up? I’m keeping myself as busy as possible by extra housekeeping and exercises.

Even though I miss hockey like crazy, I don’t want to dwell on my present situation and be depressed. Instead, I want to use this seclusion as an opportunity. The opportunity to be a better player. I am going to be fitter, stronger and more skilled. It’s like an NHL player working off-season before joining the camp. I’m so excited about the prospect!

Stay strong, stay positive and stay home. It’s my mantra until this corona business is over…

I took Bella out to our local park and she enjoyed her freedom enormously!

My favourite place

Especially during the ongoing heatwave, one place I really look forward to visiting is an ice rink in Streatham.

Jimmy, who organises ice hockey practices, kindly invites me to his scrimmages when ice time are available, and yesterday was one of those weekend days.

Before setting off to the ice rink, Hubbie and I decided to have brunch at Ozone Coffee Roasters…

We found no customary queue at this popular eatery and a smiley staff ushered us to a table in the basement…

For my pre-scrimmage food, I opted for gluten-free pancake with smoked pear custard, hazelnut meringue & rhubarb ambrosia. I also ordered extra strips of crispy bacons…

The pancake was divine! It was fluffy and the topping was delicious.

Envious Bella, staring at my pancake…

Sorry, Bay Bay!

After the brunch, I headed to the ice arena with my friend who wanted to watch me playing hockey.

What a bliss! It’s so cool and comfortable on ice!!

Unfortunately, there weren’t enough players to play a proper scrimmage and Jimmy set up a few drills for us and it was fun.

Only one goalie turned up but he was a really good one – very mobile and aggressive with his stick! One of the drills was we, forward players, were to receive a pass from the defencemen standing by the blue line and to shoot at the goal. My turn came so I sprinted out, received a pass and I was about to shoot. However, before I knew it, a huge wall in the shape of a hockey goalie was right in front of me and I had no choice but simply crashing into him. Because I was such a light-weight midget with less than 95lb, I ended up flying away like a deflected bullet while he stood still, like a bloody bank vault wall! How embarrassing…

Another thing I kept on doing during the drills was losing my footing every time I tried to do tight turning.

What are wrong with my skates today?

I took my gloves off and ran my finger on the blades after skating to the end of a queue. The edges of the top halves were noticeably dull and it was clear that they needed sharpening.

After the drills, we did a 3 on 3 scrimmage using the half length of the rink. Despite my skates skidding on the surface instead of biting into it, I somehow managed to stay on my feet and enjoyed the game enormously.

‘Wow, it’s so hot and sticky!’, my friend and I moaned when we walked out of the arena.

Then, we drove by my place first to pick up Hubbie and Bella, and then drove to my friend’s to rink up with her husband.

My dinner at Andi’s on Church Street, Stoke Newington…

Pulled pork bao! A post-scrimmage protein fix.

It is a shame that I can’t come to a Monday’s practice because my skates are left in the skate shop and they won’t be ready before Thursday. Oh well, I shall work on my shooting at home then…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Oh well…

I woke up with aches and pains all over my body this morning. I fell a few times and also was being told off more than a few times 😭😭😭

Still, I love ice hockey. What can I do?

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Fire away!

One morning, I was playing with a puck at home and thinking about hockey. While I gazed at the disk and the blade, I was wondering about one thing which had been bothering me for a long long time. My shooting skill, or lack of it. I really need to improve it, but seriously, how can I do it? I live in Central London and have no garden nor driveway in which I can set up a shooting range.

I did discuss my dilemma with one of our team coaches a few years ago. His suggestion was to find a place, somewhere like a car park or a quiet back alley, to set up an old mattress against a wall and to shoot a puck at it. Underneath our flat, there was an underground car park, so how about there?

No chance. The car park was full of my neighbours’ cars and they wouldn’t like an old mattress propped up at any wall anytime. And they would definitely object a puck pinging around their cars.

A few years had passed with no action. Then, I had a light-bulb moment last week.

I was looking at my Eileen Gray daybed which was placed in front of the wall panelling. Why don’t I flip the mattress of the daybed and shoot a puck at it? The distance from where I was going to shoot was about 5m and it seemed perfect. So I upturned the mattress and lined the top of it with cushions.

So, this is my indoor shooting range. What do you think Bay-Bay?

Why are my toys being lined up? Bay-Bay, they are my targets!

Oh no!

As soon as I started to practice, she retreated to a bedroom, disliking loud noises.

What the hell is going on?!

I was not going to tell about it to Hubbie but some shots went above cushions and dented the wall (>.<)

Anyway, the improvised shooting range worked a treat and I was happily firing away until my arms became sore. Why didn’t I think of the daybed then? The solution was dangling under my nose!

Anyway, let’s hope all the effort will pay off in future and I can be a one mean shooter. If I shoot a puck two hundred times a day everyday, will I be able to catch up with the lost time?

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Blog at WordPress.com.