Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Combating the Pandemic with Homemade Hockey Boards

 I have been locked down now for almost 11 months.  This means that my normal exercise regime of biking to/from work vanished behind a double layer fabric COVID mask. So I have been looking for other ways to stay active - partly for physical health, partly for emotional health, and partly to stave off boredom.

   For a lot of lockdown I've been less than 100% mobile.  First was recovering from a mess of broken toes, then I wrenched my knee, and recently I wrenched my back.  Basically a lot of things kept me from going for bike rides, and generally moving muscles, making seretonin, and burning calories.

In the past few months I have started walking around my property, logging a couple miles each day.  I also got a punching bag, which I mounted under our new porch outside, to get some upper body workout.

I was looking for some other activity I could do outside, but not leave my property.  Then I remembered I had some hockey equipment, and a brand new concrete patio.  So I got out the stick and a road hockey ball, and started taking shots against the retaining wall and fence that runs along side the patio.

It was actually a good bit of fun, but there is a problem.  I spent way to much time chasing the ball around my yard.   Its hard to spot if you're the Vancouver Canucks defense, but for the rest of us, there is a glaring issue with this setup with respect to hockey.  My fence is my goalie, and it has a five hole a mile wide.

(yes, I know the five hole is actually between the goalies pads, but its funnier this way, so work with me on this one).

Clearly this needed to be fixed.  Putting up boards is the obvious solution, but I didn't want anything permanent, nor did I want to spend a lot of time setting up and tearing down.

I looked around my house for resources I already had, and noticed I had a 4x8 sheet of foam board, and some 1x3 and 1x4 bits of lumber.

I did a test and the hole is 4x7 feet.  So, perfect size. Another test showed that the 1x4s slip perfectly between the gaps in the fence posts.

So the solution is clear.  I screwed the wood onto the foam board, and left a bit of overhang for the wood to slide into the fence post gap.

I tested it out, and now my fence/goalie stops "pucks" like the best of them.  It is rather ugly (I never claimed to be good at building stuff) but it only needs to be up when I am using it, so the ugly is temporary (which pleased my wife to no end).

 Best part, I can set it up and tear it down in seconds, and it fits easily into a storage area under the patio.

Now whenever I have a few minutes, say between work meetings, I can go outside and take some practice shots, and burn off a few more calories.

Just another lifestyle adaptation thrust upon me by the good people at COVID Incorporated.