Ditch The Treadmill #2: Octopush

Still attempting to get fit without shelling out £30 a month on a mebership to LA Fitness, I tried my hand, or flippers, at Octopush. It's mental.
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Still attempting to get fit without shelling out £30 a month on a mebership to LA Fitness, I tried my hand, or flippers, at Octopush. It's mental.

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Picture what happens when you throw a bit of beef into a piranha tank. Now imagine that instead of piranhas there are adult humans wearing snorkels and flippers; and instead of beef there’s a little red puck on the bottom of the pool. Got it? That’s Octopush.

Essentially, it is underwater hockey. It is brilliant. Or at least I suspect it is once you stop being a massive wimp about it.

I played with the very welcoming and patient folks of the Islington Octopush club. One of the regular members started me off by showing me how to dive with a snorkel without drowning myself. She then showed me how to swim along the bottom, tummy skimming the tiles, and hit a puck with the stick. Eventually after much patient instruction I managed to dive and surface without inhaling any water (ish).

Underwater hockey. It is brilliant. Or at least I suspect it is once you stop being a massive wimp about it.

Then we were straight into the game, which I found quite terrifying so I spent most of the session trying to keep out of the way. From time to time I accidentally got caught in the action, panicked and tried desperately to escape, displaying all the speed and manoeuvrability of a frightened seal on a rocky beach.

I can see that once I’m confident enough with the breathing and can just get stuck in it will be tremendous fun. It’s fast, full of action, requires a bit of skill, and probably gives you the lung capacity of a blue whale. If you want something totally different, with a lovely bunch of people, and you don’t mind a bit of underwater barging, this is the sport for you. Well worth a try.

This article first appeared at www.ditchthetreadmill.net

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