Saturday, February 26, 2005


Why I can't lift my arms tonight, or How I Learned To Love WaterPolo

I figure it is about time to give a quick intro to my sport of choice. For those of you who don't know anything about the game, here are some basics:

Waterpolo is...
...played in deep water, with a field of play around 25m long and 15-20m wide. Ish.
... played with 7 players per side, including the goalie, not including the subs on the bench.
... played with a yellow ball, bigger than a volleyball, smaller than a basketball, very grippy.
... somewhat similar in setup to basketball, with players commonly making a semi-circle around the net with one player directly in front of the net on the 2meter line, called "centre" or "hole".
... played with floating nets, about 6 feet across by 3 feet high, and a goalie who has incredible leg strength and who is the only player in the pool allowed to touch the ball with two hands.
... a full contact sport, with lots of pushing and holding and grabbing and sinking the person, especially if they have the ball and are trying to shoot, or if the ref isn't looking.
... hard work! Especially if your team keeps losing the ball, because then you have to SPRINT back down to the other end of the pool on defense, instead of leisurely breaststroking back to the centre line after scoring. Also especially if you play the "hole" position (which *I* am working on, woo!) since you're the one who has the most physical pressure on you, as your defense is trying to sink you while getting in the way of any passes made to you by your teammates. Glub.

I play with UBC Waterpolo locally, and I travel to play with the Seattle Otters, and San Fransisco Tsunami (who are contemplating a name change after Dec 26's events). So far, waterpolo has taken me to Sydney, Australia, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco/Stanford and Seattle in the States, and often over to Victoria/Saanich for provincial tournaments. I've been part of medal-winning teams at the Gay Games, IGLA (mini-GG that just have aquatic events) and most recently at the Otters Open, with the UBC Women getting gold and with Tsunami getting silver in the co-ed division.

THIS is why my shoulders hurt... I don't actually know how to warm up properly, or stretch afterwards, I do half-hearted re/prehab exercises when I feel like it, and I book massages every month or so to get my friend Vince to tear my shoulders up for me and make me cry like a baby... but right now, after going fairly hard for the 1.75 hours of practice this evening, I ache. (picture me growling, making the rock-star-devil handsigns, boasting about how hard-core I am.. snicker) Makes me wonder what I'll be doing for fun when I am, oh, say.. 40? Hope I can hang on to it that long, at least... I'm planning to work on my ref certification in the meantime, just in case...

Weather: was weirdly foggy today, for a drive out to Richmond to IKEA/Home Depot/Staples with da boyz... kinda icky, with short bursts of brighter sky

Chai's so far: two, one for breakky and one before practice.. and one soon to come at Chapters :)

Water exposure so far: morning bath, afternoon shower, pool, post-pool shower.. and I wonder why my skin gets dry...

Craft project in progress: the cardigan has been "short rowed" to build up more, erm, space? for my bodaciousness, and the body section is now on hold waiting for the arms to catch up. One sleeve was done up to about elbow height, when I decided I didn't like the design.. so I'm on sleeve version number 2, at low-bicep height, and I'm digging the cable-work that is coming together on it.

Wardrobe: a bit on the slummy side right now, just jeans and a long-sleeve T from MEC, but was enjoying wearing my kicky black linen capris to IKEA, with my black Birki slides... made me almost feel chic. Esqe.

New catagory(!!):

Music of the Day: sound track from O Brother Where Art Thou? Bluegrassy/gospelly, fun to sing-along to, and makes me think of my dad and his Old Time Fiddlers group that I occasionally jam with. Hated the movie, dig the music.

"Ave Xta, Gladiatrix Extremus"

Silly woman - you *won't* be doing it still at 40 if you don't start taking care of yourself! What do you mean you don't know how to warm it up?!?? That's outrageous! If you're serious, any info (and there's *lots* out there) on general shoulder warm-up and stretching will suffice - but the more closely the movements resemble that insane-gorilla-thrash speed-stroke you do (gawd, I love watching that! You must be terrifying at sea-level!), the more helpful they'll likely be. Once you're warmed up, keep your muscles moving at least gently during the game/practise. Find some useful stretches, and do them in the hottub afterwards - that'll help. And Vince has *got* to have some suggestions!

Current inventory music: various quick-beat late-90s/early-2000s (how would you say that??) dance mixes, suitable for leaping from my chair and dancing about the office, Cricket barking madly, whenever my back starts to bitch - about every 55 minutes. I feel one coming on now...

Kiss! -H
She's absolutely right.... any shoulder stretches will work. You should do about five minutes of warm up cardio before stretching though so you aren't stretching cold muscles. walking a flight fo stairs or two would be enough to just get the blood flowing.

I'm impressed you're still swimming all the time. Do you still dive?
Blaine-baby, you should *see* her gorilla-thrash - I spent a week with her last fall, and (after the stores closed) watched several practises from the upper deck - she can *move*! It's not graceful by any stretch of the imagination, but the evident power is awesome!
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