JMS Hockey Blog

JMS is a pickup hockey league

Month: October, 2009

Why exercise wont make you thin

by barbaragarn

Great article in TIME about how people eat more (and more “junk food”) after exercising.

Have you noticed this effect? I know MANY a time after hockey, I’ve let myself have something I’d normally skip, rationalizing that I just burned about 875 calories for 90 minutes of hockey [url=](chart here).

Selected snippets–

“In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless,” says Eric Ravussin, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University and a prominent exercise researcher.

The basic problem is that while it’s true that exercise burns calories and that you must burn calories to lose weight, exercise has another effect: it can stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight-loss benefits we just accrued. Exercise, in other words, isn’t necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even be making it harder.

“I see this anecdotally amongst, like, my wife’s friends,” [another researcher] says. “They’re like, ‘Ah, I’m running an hour a day, and I’m not losing any weight.'” He asks them, “What are you doing after you run?” It turns out one group of friends was stopping at Starbucks for muffins afterward. “I don’t think most people would appreciate that, wow, you only burned 200 or 300 calories, which you’re going to neutralize with just half that muffin.”

Doesn’t exercise turn fat to muscle, and doesn’t muscle process excess calories more efficiently than fat does?

Yes, although the muscle-fat relationship is often misunderstood. … A pound of muscle burns approximately six calories a day in a resting body, compared with the two calories that a pound of fat burns. Which means that after you work out hard enough to convert, say, 10 lb. of fat to muscle–a major achievement–you would be able to eat only an extra 40 calories per day, about the amount in a teaspoon of butter, before beginning to gain weight. Good luck with that.

Humans are not a species that evolved to dispose of many extra calories beyond what we need to live. Rats, among other species, have a far greater capacity to cope with excess calories… (discussion of useful but complicated “brown fat” here)

After we exercise, we often crave sugary calories like those in muffins or in “sports” drinks like Gatorade. A standard 20-oz. bottle of Gatorade contains 130 calories. If you’re hot and thirsty after a 20-minute run in summer heat, it’s easy to guzzle that bottle in 20 seconds, in which case the caloric expenditure and the caloric intake are probably a wash. From a weight-loss perspective, you would have been better off sitting on the sofa knitting.

Many people assume that weight is mostly a matter of willpower–that we can learn both to exercise and to avoid muffins and Gatorade. A few of us can, but evolution did not build us to do this for very long. In 2000 the journal Psychological Bulletin published a paper by psychologists Mark Muraven and Roy Baumeister in which they observed that self-control is like a muscle: it weakens each day after you use it. If you force yourself to jog for an hour, your self-regulatory capacity is proportionately enfeebled. Rather than lunching on a salad, you’ll be more likely to opt for pizza.

Doesn’t exercise do anything? Sure. It does plenty. In addition to enhancing heart health and helping prevent disease, exercise improves your mental health and cognitive ability.

But there’s some confusion about whether it is exercise–sweaty, exhausting, hunger-producing bursts of activity done exclusively to benefit our health–that leads to all these benefits or something far simpler: regularly moving during our waking hours.

In short, it’s what you eat, not how hard you try to work it off, that matters more in losing weight. You should exercise to improve your health, but be warned: fiery spurts of vigorous exercise could lead to weight gain. I love how exercise makes me feel, but tomorrow I might skip the VersaClimber–and skip the blueberry bar that is my usual postexercise reward.

Full article here:,8599,1914857,00.html

Do YOU eat more than you would, or “badly” after working out?

That Late 60s Hockey

by barbaragarn

Guest blog by [url=]Keith Bloodworth

I became addicted to hockey at an early age… about the time the NHL expanded to 12 teams. That was around 1967.

My brother and friends started playing roller (not inline) hockey everywhere. Patio, driveway, street, (the cars drove around our goals) basement, and the school yard. You know you are addicted to hockey when you walk a few miles one way to the school yard carrying equipment. The kindergarten playground was half brick wall and half cyclone fence. The swing set and slide became extra D. We repaired our skates with milk jug plastic and duct tape and made goalie leg pads out of carpet remnants. No helmets.

My father was given season tickets to the Blues for their first two seasons. Each ticket was a thick piece of cardboard that had the dimensions of a government paycheck… a work of art. The Blues also gave out a calendar and a Christmas card with a team photo in it. I wish I would have kept more of the stuff.

There were only two tickets per game and it was always a fight with my brother to see who would go. After a while, we were old enough to go alone. We would trade seats with our buddies. Eat cracker jacks, drink soda, and be mesmerized by a game that is played on ice… it was always thrilling.

The fans use to sing their version of “When the Saints Go Marching In” and give the team a standing ovation every game… and that was before the game even started. The noise was incredible when they scored. “Blues” was substituted for “Saints.” The fans furthered the cause by changing some lyrics too.

Another thing I cherish from those games was a program. My father always bought me one. The only program I still own is a cover from a West Division playoff series with L.A. It has the Stanley Cup on it. It also contains the autograph of Jacques Plante.

The Blues use to stage exhibition games and skills competition midway through the season. They billed it as “Silver Skates” and I attended one with a baseball pal. This kid usually garnered a lot of attention, but I don’t remember him at all that afternoon. I remember waiting in line at the arena’s parking garage to meet “Jake the Snake.’ I was not expecting an autograph. I didn’t know what an autograph was. I don’t remember why I had a game program with me. Jacques grabbed it and signed it.

My mother also got into the act. She received autographs from Al Arbour and George Morrison–on Blues stationary! I have a few more, but the ones I just mentioned are the oldest.

I learned how to skate on a pond with my aunt’s figure skates. I learned how to play by watching the pros. The wave kept sweeping over me. Our local athletic association built an ice rink and I was off and playing hockey. The Blues helped there also. Noel Picard was seen driving a bulldozer during its early days. You remember Noel. He is the Blue that tripped Bobby Orr as he scored a goal.

Fast forward to the NHL’s all star fantasy before the last lock out. I missed getting Cesar Maniago’s autograph by 15 minutes. Damn!

How hockey nearly destroyed my life

by barbaragarn

Guest blog by [url=]Jeremy Woods

Alrighty– Not really… but hockey did ruin sports for me for a LONG time. Lets go back…

I was born in Minnesota; that necessitates my innate love for all things hockey. I was one of those youngsters who would walk to the rink. (Didn’t we all have a rink in walking distance?) My mom or dad would drop off a lunch. I would HAVE to go home for dinner. And then head back to close the night out at the rink.

Heck, I remember I would see my dad walking to the rink as I walked home due to him flooding the rink for the city. This would take place every day possible. In between that, I would watch hockey when I could. On TV or in person.

I remember my dad going to late night skate sessions with his team, the Mantas, and once getting to play before or after a North Stars game. (I can’t remember, sue me, time changes some details.) With all of that, would I have time to be on the local team? HECK YES! Tourneys, summer clinics, etc…

As of 91-92, I loved being between the pipes. I had taken to being a goalie through and through. And after a few years of playing hockey for the Forest Lake team, we got a new coach. This coach was friends with the father of one of the other kids. That other kid wanted to be goalie.

You can see where this is going. I was moved to D. From what my dad has said, I was not a good skater, nor a good defenseman. But I was a great goalie. (I take his lambasting my skating and skills at D as him being honest enough to also be sincere about my goalie skills.)

I do know that I rarely let goals in and the other goalie did all the time. So, I will be selfish with the fact that I wanted to be goalie. The fact that the other kid got to be goalie over me the whole season and was no good at it was a bit to much for my precious little selfish 12 year old mind to take… So, not having fun, I quit organized hockey…

Then, the season after, I learned an important lesson… Your favorite sports team can sometimes go away. The North Stars leaving was the proverbial hockey stick on the camel. I honestly did not understand. It was the Minnesota hockey team. How can they move to where? TEXAS? I had officially turned off of sports. Or at least watching sports. I lost all hope.


Move ahead 13 years. I was once again, living within walking distance of an ice rink. Needing some exercise, I buy a cheap pair of skates.

My first time on the ice, I am hooked again. I think I was at the rink four nights a week. My girlfriend was not happy about it, BUT DANG! HOCKEY!!!!

What? Minnesota Wild who??? PLAYOFFS! HOLY CRAP! There is a Pond Hockey League? HOCKEY!!!!

What is JMS??? HOCKEY!!!

Stupid HOCKEY!!! … now it just ruins my knees …

How I Started Hockey

by barbaragarn

Guest blog by [url=]Cam Kaszas

In 1967 we lived in a duplex on Snelling Avenue (it’s now a Kinko’s), with the other half rented by Mike McMahon who played for the North Stars. His wife and my mom became friends and we got tickets to lots of games and Mike sort of adopted my brother and me as my mom was divorced and our dad was not in our lives. We’d go down by the ice during pregame warm-ups and Mike would rap the glass and toss us a puck now and then. My mom froze a little rink outside and we’d play out there in our garage sale skates that didn’t even begin to fit and Mike would pass the puck around with us. Mike soon got traded to the Blackhawks, but I was already living and breathing hockey by then.

The school passed out flyers for skating lessons at the Met Sports Center – WHERE THE NORTH STARS PLAYED! I begged mom for lessons. But I was awful! My mom asked the teacher if there was any hope and if it was even worth it to keep trying. The teacher thought that if I had some skates that actually fit it would make a huge difference. She also recommended figure skates. I wasn’t so keen on that but if that is what it took I was willing. It was a big deal for my mom as she didn’t have money and skates and lessons were expensive. But she bit the bullet, having no idea what she was in for.

Skates that fit made a huge difference. By the end of the second set of lessons I was one of the best. The teacher even recommended I join the skating club and take private lessons. I am grateful that my mom continued to get us in deeper. I still had a hockey passion but just as a fan. I wasn’t really aware that KIDS played hockey. All I knew was the NHL. Never stopped to wonder how those guys learned in the first place.

Shortly into my figure skating “career,” mom didn’t have enough money for continued lessons, even though the teacher was already giving me a greatly reduced rate. Mom said I’d have to contribute the money I’d been saving for a bike. So I wrote a letter to the teacher thanking her for the cheap lessons and told her that I was using my bike money for them. This teacher also taught power skating for the North Stars. The story goes that she marched into the locker room between periods, read the boys my letter, and they passed around a helmet for donations. We got a letter back saying that my lessons would be paid for in total for as long as I showed improvement – the team had decided that I should be able to learn to skate AND get my bike as well! We still have that letter.

I competed in skating until 10th grade. I worked my way up the ranks and even qualified for Nationals. That fellow who won the silver medal in the ’92 Olympics? Beat him! Yes, we were only 12, but it still counts. I burned out on skating for a number of reasons: injuries, hard being out of school so much, but mostly I just wanted a “normal” life – to go to a friend’s house after school, for example. And this seems really dumb now but was a big factor in my decision: getting teased (especially by hockey players) about being a sissy figure skater. And they were always lined up to come on the ice as our sessions were ending. Kids can be really mean, you know? At the time it was a pretty easy decision for me to quit, but if I had it to do again, I would not have quit. There is no doubt in my mind I could have gone far.

My first job out of college took me to Dallas. Lo and behold down there they have skating rinks in shopping malls of all places. Another shocker is one day I am at the mall and look across the rink and see my former skating partner (and first crush) out there giving a lesson. As destiny would have it we got together and she talked me into starting skating again. We began practicing together, talking lessons, even passing high level pairs tests. We decided to audition for the Ice Capades.

The Ice Capades didn’t want us–as a pair. But a few weeks later I got a call. They wanted me! Can I be in glamorous Columbus by the weekend?! Let’s see – a new city every week, skating as a job, getting paid (finally), girls in skimpy costumes?! Or keep my engineering job? I never imagined quitting a job without even being able to give a 2-week notice. But it happens.

Ice Capades was quite the life. We toured the East Coast and Canada. Once pre-tour rehearsals ended and we hit the road, we didn’t have to rehearse much. Just show up an hour before the show, perform, then go out on the town till all hours and sleep in the next day. Repeat Tuesday-Friday, 3 times on Saturday and twice on Sunday. Then on Monday go to the next town. Lots of friends, fun and travel are memories I will have forever.

But back to reality–you can’t spend your whole life on the road, doing something you love, surrounded mostly by young, scantily-clad women competing for the attention of the 3 out of 16 guys in the cast who are even interested in women. Can you? Wow, what was I thinking? You can’t, can you?

Anyway, back to Minnesota, grad school, a new job, wife, kids. I still enjoyed skating, but it got harder and harder to find the time. And as I got older my favorite part–jumping really high–got much harder. The coming down part did anyway that’s for sure.

Then the Minnesota Wild made this incredible run in the playoffs in 2003. I watched the games with my son and we were both really into it. I asked him if he’d like to try hockey. No, basketball was and would continue as his passion.

But I turned to him and said “I want to play hockey.” Around noon the next day I called the AHA Beginner School number I found on the internet–it was a few weeks into the program but they said come tonight if you want and we’ll squeeze you in. So I skipped out of work, bought equipment and had it all put on as my wife got home and I announced “I’m starting hockey tonight!”

The transition to hockey skates was indeed a strange feeling – but only for about 2 hours. Actually it is not as hard as going between ice and roller blades. That always “trips” me up every summer.

As the whole family drove to my first game, my son says “you know Dad; I really thought you were just kidding about playing hockey!”

It is fun to now see my son starting hockey as an “adult” (he’s 18). He has played Level 2 on Fridays since mid summer. I just hope I can keep ahead of him for a few more years! Last I checked I’m the only Level 5 that started hockey in his forties!

Myths about JMS

by barbaragarn

Recent reports of gossip, combined with noting recurring questions, prompted me to answer and address these issues.

MYTH: Barbara determines who skates up or down.
FACT: The captains are the backbone of the level placement system and I am incredibly grateful to them for their intelligent and analytical help. If someone wants to skate up or down, I ask a captain familiar with that person–and usually, I get more than one opinion to make sure. This is why it takes a while for level changes to be processed.
The only times I make the decision personally is when someone is moving from level 1 to level 2 (and in those cases, I follow up with the Level 2 captain to make sure the skater did okay) or when someone is brand new to JMS.
Since the assessment tool is self-reported and not ice-based, new JMSers can place too high (Gretzky yearnings) or too low (Minnesota modesty). I juggle the answers and make sure the guy with 17 years hockey experience doesn’t end up in Level 2, and the guy who started six months ago isn’t in Level 3. And, of course, the captains know who the new skaters are and can further tweak assessment when we have skates on ice.

MYTH: Breezers are not required, but shoulder pads and face protection are.
FACT: Breezers or some kind of hip protection (like Cooperalls) are ABSOLUTELY required. Not just for your safety, but for the community skate; if you don’t wear full gear, then the people who share the ice with you, go into the corner with you, will CONSISTENTLY have to dial back their play, which is not fair. People sign up to play hockey, not no-contact hockey. If you don’t have breezers or Cooperalls, I can help you find some. They are not an optional piece of equipment.
Shoulders and face protection ARE optional, though I’ll go on record (again) as saying I think anybody who doesn’t wear them is inviting trouble. Hockey is a physical sport and while YOU may think you’re 100 percent stable on your skates, what about the other 23 people on the ice? I broke the collarbone of a 6’7″ guy at one of my first pick-ups, oops. He told me later he thought he was too big to get hurt, before I flailingly crashed into him and crunched his shoulder into the goal post.
As for face protection, it’s your mug. Think about all the waving sticks and sharp skates. Think about those sticks and skates resting on the floor of the bench. Have you LOOKED at the floor of the bench lately? Yeccch. Do you want something that comes in contact with that, slicing into your face?

MYTH: People can be banned from JMS for asking to play another level.
FACT: Of course not, that is silly. “Everyone” is “talking about” a recent case with some level 2 skaters. When someone asks to move up and they aren’t ready (as noted above, based on extensive captain feedback), I don’t just say no–I tell them the specific things they need to work on to move up, which I feel is positive and constructive.
Unfortunately, sometimes there is a gap in people’s minds between “actual ability” and “perceived ability” (don’t we all know someone like this?). Some of these folks choose to say, “Fine, if you don’t let me dictate where I should play, then I won’t play anymore!” That is their choice and a rather poor attitude, but it absolutely is not banning anyone. It’s rather ironic that someone else’s overreaction could be viewed as MY wrongdoing. I know the juicy story is the exciting one, but it’s not true in this case.
People are rarely banned from JMS, and all cases but two were for safety reasons. Showing up drunk, being extremely rough (way, way beyond chippiness), fighting, etc., THESE are the reasons people get banned–and justifiably so. I’m not going to risk having known dangerous people on JMS ice, period.

MYTH: JMS is Barbara’s job.
FACT: hahahahahahahahahahaha (deep breath) hahahahahahaha. I love running JMS, but there is no way it could support me. I work as an editor for small law enforcement magazines. Last December, I took a 25 percent pay cut, down to 30 hours per week, so I’d have more time to spend on JMS stuff. My current rough estimate is about 25-30 hours per week on JMS stuff.
On the excellent advice of a self-employed JMSer, I started paying myself for JMS labor a while ago (though it’s less than minimum wage). Photographer Brian Scott Holman was listening to me grouse once after someone had sent me a particularly nasty message. He said that if I continued to go without pay, JMS would always be a hobby and eventually some loser would piss me off enough to make me quit doing it. But, he said, if I paid myself, then those grumpy notes would just be part of doing business. And while I would still grit my teeth, I could think of my “salary,” however small. Good advice.

MYTH: Most JMSers have perms for more than one level.
FACT: Most JMSers skate at only one level. We’re trying to fine-tune the parity so each level is distinct, and people won’t be skipping between. Sometimes a person is coming back to the ice after a long period away (for an injury, or after taking a summer off). I’ll open the level below for a set number of sessions or a set time–always with the lecture that the person playing down should be AWARE of the other skaters’ ability level, and to PLAY to that level.
When a skater is moving up a level, it’s best to have perms for both for a while. These “tweeners” can work on stickhandling in the lower level, when they have TIME to work with the puck, and then on skating speed in the upper level, where they’re not going to get as much puck time amidst superior players.

MYTH: Barbara adjusts levels based on where she needs skaters.
FACT: No way. As noted above, the captains are the driving force behind leveling. These decisions are ALWAYS made on an individual level and completely separate from which sessions need skaters. That said, I try to make sensible decisions. On a night when a level 3 doesn’t have many skaters signed up, if a guy who just got moved up to 4 asks to play and promises to be nice, I’ll allow it for that session.

MYTH: JMS doesn’t include a warm-up period.
FACT: The first five or so minutes of any session are for warm-up. This is a no-brainer… physiologically, this is absolutely imperative. Even if we get on the ice early, I want the extra time to be part of warm-up, instead of starting the skate early. Because starting early deprives people who were ON TIME, of the necessary and healthful warmup, which isn’t fair. So use any extra time for warmup–who here doesn’t need an extra five minutes to work on their shot or power turns?

MYTH: Barbara chooses icetimes.
FACT: No way.
Summer ice and winter ice are very different. For summer, the rinks practically crawl through the phone–they’re so excited to have customers. I have to push back a bit since most want their users to be continuous during the day. This means saying, “No thanks, always starting at 6.30 p.m. does NOT work for us….”
And then it’s like a giant switch flips, and suddenly it’s a SELLER’s market, for winter ice. They give me start times of 10.30 p.m. and I am so grateful to have any ice at all. The competition for winter icetimes is very, very, VERY steep. I get the best times I can, always. It’s just that what’s available is very, very VERY limited.
This is for the more popular rinks. I could book in Stillwater, or Chaska, or Rodgers, and MAYBE get some 9p starts… but then I just wouldn’t have enough people turn up. I’m always trying to branch out, but responsibly. It’s a balancing act between location and start time, and I try to find the best intersection of the two.
Some folks have asked for early ice (7, 7.30) so they can go out afterwards, or hit it on the way home from work. And some folks ask for late ice (9.30, 10p starts) so they can go home, have dinner, put the kids to bed and then play. I know everybody has different needs and I try to balance as best I can, I truly do.

My 22 helmets

by barbaragarn

But wait, I can explain.

Just finished unpacking the Hockey Room and was shocked to discover I had so many. But… three are MINE. Five will be sold to newbies. Five for loaner use (three in main rotation, two backup oddballs); two getting rid of (trash and donate); seven old boys I hang on to because… well, you never know.

Follow the picture, from left.

1 — my current (Cascade CHX, love ya, baby!)
2 — my old Mission Carbsters (black and white, screws stripped out, alas, but too comfy to part with)
3 — NEW Cascade CHXs, bought on super sale, to sell to needy newbies with L heads
1 — Itech HC85 POS destined for trash (plastic broken on nearly all connectors/joints)
7 — too old to loan out in good conscience, foam degrading or otherwise gross (Bauer HH 5000L; Cooper HH 3000L; Bauer HH400L; Cooper SK2000; Bauer HH1000L; Bauer HH4000M; CCM unknown model, size small)
1 — CCM unknown model, size small; going to donate (must be YOUTH small; too tiny for even my head)
1 — Nike NQH, size unknown (not familiar with this helmet so it stays at the bottom of the rotation; some kind of air pump at back of neck?)
1 — Jofa 395 jr (not familiar with this helmet so it stays at the bottom of the rotation; bulbously cute, though)
2 — new with tags (CCM HT1 small; Jofa 390 sr; not sure what to do with these, probably also sell to newbies, nominal fee…)
3 — official JMS loaner helmets! safe! with cages! (CCM 692 large; CCM model unknown, small [my old helmet]; CCM HT1 large with combo mask nobody likes)

Thanks to everyone who has made donations! I have given away more “gently used” (but still safe!) helmets than I can remember, to grateful newbies excited to get started in an expensive sport. Thank YOU for your castoff gear.

Some other time I will write about why a nice girl like me has seven hockey jocks (two are for goalies!).