Friday, 21 December 2012

A Little Bovine Warmth

One of the more interesting topics came up on The Hockey Show last night as we had a caller phone in and talk to us about how he and his friends warmed their feet and hands while playing pond hockey as youngsters. Beans and I were having a laugh at this, but it occurred to me that this might actually be a problem for kids and parents when playing or watching hockey outside. I normally dress warmly for the weather and I never find myself cold, but I can see this being a concern for parents and skaters alike.

The phone call came from Terry who described, in detail, how he and his friends used to come off the ice into a barn on the farm where the cows were held. They would then find a cow and place their semi-frozen extremity - hand or foot - between the cow's leg and udders to warm up!

There aren't too many urban barns with cows in them, so city folk don't have this "luxury". And I worry about the safety of a child crouching down beside a very large, heavy animal and place his or her cold hand or foot on a cow in a very sensitive place. Times were different in yesteryears, and this is one example of those differences that the new generation hear.

Beans spoke about how he uses baby powder to keep his hands and feet dry when playing, and I have used this method as well on my hands. If there's one thing I've noticed over my many days of skating this winter already, it's that my hands become very dry. Without the ability to douse my hands in water while skating, I've taken to becoming a moisturizer. I feel like George Costanza in saying that.

While I'm not yet a hand model like George Costanza was, my hands are not as dry this winter as they were in previous years. I'm thankful for that because they crack and just look and feel ugly. The ugly, however, isn't a concern as much as the pain of cracked, dry skin is! Therefore, moisturizer and I have become better friends this winter. Even though it feels somewhat unmanly to write that.

I know some people use handwarmers as seen to the left. They work for long periods of time, and they seem to be pretty effective. My better half has a vast collection of them as she finds her hands to be ice-cold even on the mildest of winter days, so I do have proof that they work effectively. She and I have gone skating often this winter, and she hasn't complained once about her hands or feet being cold. This is an activity we'll continue to do as long as her supply of handwarmers remains stocked.

I have seen vast numbers of people - fans, coaches, parents - holding Tim Hortons cups in and around rinks, and this phenomenon happens outdoors as well. Thermoses of coffee, hot chocolate, and other drinks make appearances as well for those looking to keep warm, so there are those options as well, albeit they are temporary for as long as the heat and/or drinks last. As seen on the top photo, a Timmys and a warm blanket may make the difference!

So I ask you, readers, what do you do to stay warm while playing or watching hockey? Do you find that watching or playing outdoors dries your skin out like it does for me? Any solutions other than moisturizing that you use? Add your voice to the conversation in the comments as I'm curious to see what remedies others have for these problems!

If you're in an area where outdoor ice is plentiful, get out there and have a blast. Outdoor ice is usually harder and faster than indoor ice, and there's nothing like skating into the fresh, crisp outdoor air on a cool winter day!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Will S said...

No recommendations but as a young kid I remember playing some outdoor games in my league. I had Lange skates (similar to Microns) and a toque on under my helmet. I remember my dad rubbing my feet to get the circulation going while helping me get out of my equipment.

Though my city has cut back on the number of outdoor rinks it has this year there are still quite a few for city of it's size. The one where I usually go with some co-workers has a heated change room nearby.