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Frigid temperatures and brutal winter winds drive athletes indoors, but there's no shortage of opportunities


December 2nd, 2010

Bone-chilling rainstorms, howling winter winds and a parade of red-letter days with an abundance of deliciously weight-packing meals are certain to bust diets across the metro.

Don't fool yourself: The holidays are out to get you. Bone-chilling rainstorms, howling winter winds and a parade of red-letter days with an abundance of deliciously weight-packing meals are certain to bust diets across the metro.

But athletes can at least keep active by seeking out a number of sports warmly nestled indoors.

Perhaps one of the most physically taxing sports hidden from the season's brutal cold is soccer, and the Indoor Soccer Arena, 100 N. McCormick, and Hat Trick Indoor Soccer Arena, 4520 Old Farm Road, are perfect for players to run off one too many helpings of pie.

Although the fields are smaller than full-sized outdoor ones, surrounding boards keep the ball in play and make for an intense workout. A number of leagues are available to cater to various skill and age levels, so even 28-year-old beginners can hit the field without the fear of being humiliated by the dazzling footwork of high school soccer studs.

Those wanting a bit more variety from their workout regimen can turn to large complexes like Transformations Fitness Center, 14701 N. Kelly in Edmond, which offers an indoor pool, fitness facilities and two basketball courts. Patrick Wellington, the personal training and performance director, said members' exercise habits shift in the wintertime as the sun sets earlier and the weekends get too cold for running and biking.

Basketball leagues are available all year long, but volleyball is increasing in popularity, according to Wellington, and nets will be set up on the basketball courts for league play. Although volleyball isn't as high-impact as swimming or running, he said that the team concept is sometimes the best motivation for someone to stay fit.

"If I am on a team, I will be held accountable to those teammates," he said. "If there is someone keeping you accountable, it will hold you to your plan and keep you active, as opposed to if there is no one meeting you to work out or you don't have teammates relying on you."

Roller derby re-emerged in town four years ago as a female-centric sport open to those looking for a deep sense of camaraderie coupled with high-impact activity.

Rose Pearson, aka Switchblade Rosie, is a player/coach for the Oklahoma City Roller Derby, which wrapped up  the 2010 season in September and will begin "new girl" tryouts in December.

This isn't just a casual recreational league, however. Pearson said skaters are expected to take the sport very seriously.

"Just coming to practice two days a week won't do it. You need to be doing something five days a week. The sport itself is really demanding on your body, and you find the type of people who play the sport are extremely competitive," she said. "Personally, I go to practice, but also do a lot of things outside practice because it will make me better on the track."

A six-week training program teaches skaters all aspects of derby, from blocking to falling correctly. Because the sport is so physical, Pearson said plenty of time is dedicated to helping skaters avoid injury, such as proper stretching and how to take care of yourself off the track, but added that injuries are still going to happen.

The payoff, she said, is the competitive atmosphere and sense of community unlike other metro amateur sports.

"Derby is becoming more and more mainstream, and we are attracting people from all walks of life," Pearson said. "What sets it aside from other sports is we are a derby family. We are someone to turn to, not even just for things having to do with derby. We are there when there are parts of your life that aren't going well." "Charles Martin

above Manuela Soldi on team Ultimate and Alisha Norman for team TNT get their kicks at Hat Trick.
below Two teams compete at Hat Trick Indoor Soccer Arena. Photos/Shannon Cornman
 
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