Dancing is one way we move. Solo. Social dance. Line and group dance. Mosh-pit. Folk dance. Ballet. Modern. All cultures have some type of dance. Sports are another way that we move in an organized way. A tradition, which we have developed over the past few years during our annual winter family-visit in Rhode Island, is to attend a local game of the Providence Bruins hockey team. This year they challenged the Connecticut Whale.
Sports have a few inherent elements. Two individuals or teams compete to end up with a better score or time than their opponents. Rules determine what behaviors may be used to achieve the score. Some object is moved into a goal, with lots of redirections along the way. Fans out-number the players. Players move constantly following the above rules. Fans move constantly, gesturing wildly when scores are made or to communicate to the players their glee or outrage as some redirection of the object they are moving about (not to mention trips to the beer/snack hut or bathroom). The players move on some type of surface, from clay to grass to Astroturf to wood to water to ice.
Ice is what differentiates hockey from field hockey, soccer, or basketball (similar to the difference between curling and shuffle board). Ice makes the game fast and unstable. In those other games, when a player plants his or her feet the adherent characteristics of footwear on sold ground lead to stopping and changing direction. Ice leads to curving turns, sliding with a spray of frozen ice shavings, or skidding into the boards. Add a second or third player opposing the one who has the puck, and some physics of inertia and geometry of arcs, then you can calculate the cumulative impact of 400 to 600 lbs of players converging while swinging sticks at a 3 inch disc. The last time I took a face plant skating (at a slow speed) I recalled that ice is a solid surface and quite hard. Let’s just say that the challenges of hockey make it pretty amazing that they can get shots on goal, let alone fling that puck past five defending skaters and a goalie to take the lead.
The other day we were listening to a discussion about exercise, physical activity and health. The speaker mentioned that motion is our natural state as children. Children constantly move, whether in organized activities or play. He described a research study in which tri-athletes (running, bicycling, swimming) were placed in a preschool program and told to imitate all motions that they saw the 3 year-old children doing. By mid-day the children were still up and going, the tri-athletes were spent.
P.S. The P-Bruins won 4 to 3, with #19, Carter Camper, making a hat trick (3 goals in one game).
What activity are you training for?