Trainers and training books will tell you how important it is for players to spend quality time in the gym throughout a hockey season, to maintain the gains made during the off-season.
Forgive me teammates for I have trained. It’s been 187 days since our last beer league game and I have committed the following transgressions.
It’s official – summer is over, not only by the Gregorian calendar but also by the hockey one. A new beer league season kicks off tomorrow and my off-season is officially in the books.
When I first started training for beer league hockey, one of my rules was to spend next to no money on it. I stuck to that for several months. Then I made a conscious decision to break the rule.
How quickly love can turn to hate, sweet murmurings to spiteful hisses, sporting wrist shots to explosions of fury.
I suspect that one of the best parts of being a cop is getting to wear a wide assortment of tools and weapons on your belt. Not only are these things cool in their own right, but I expect that having them all within easy reach invokes a feeling of officialness that is nearly intoxicating.
I have a confession. After my power skating course was over, even though my ankles and ego were scorched and trying to scab over, I didn’t take time to recover. No, I went a different direction – I hit the ice the very next day, making it five days in a row on skates.
Man, I’m one hurtin’ unit. Not only are my ankles killing me but my feelings are all scuffed up as well.
I’m not usually much for sayings. Like, I’m rarely moved by those inspirational posters of eagles or oceans or Ghandi or Einstein, you know, those ones that convey wisdom about persistence or success or attitude or whatever.
So I’m trudging up the stairs at work, several steps behind my co-worker – let’s call him Carl – which has me at eye level with his rump, but rather than avert my eyes, as per “The Guy Code,” I’m taking in the view for all it’s worth.
So anyway, the season is in full swing now and the first whack of games has delivered a handful of “snapshot moments” that have illustrated where I stand in the hierarchy of beer-league greats. In short, I'm a few notches above where I was last year but still nowhere near the top.
There’s a saying in hockey: the fastest player on the ice is the one who’s just given the puck away. It’s true. I know this because I’ve just proven it ... and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
This off-season I’ve been pulled simultaneously in two opposite directions: the relentless desire to buy stuff to help my training and the relentless reality of limited finances.
I’ve never been compared to Pavel Datsyuk, the Russian hockey star whose puckhandling wizardry has been in heavy rotation in NHL highlight packages since he became a regular with the Detroit Red Wings in 2001.
There’s a certain satisfaction that comes from nailing a target consistently when firing shots out of your garage late at night.
I’m not a fan of country music but there’s a bit of country music lore that’s loosely relevant to my recent training exploits.
Legendary country singer George Jones was known as an enthusiastic consumer of “adult beverages.” In fact, he was such an incorrigible booze hound that his wife once hid the keys to all his vehicles so he couldn’t drive to a liquor store or bar. But wily old Jonesy still made his escape after noticing a key dangling from the ignition of his old John Deere riding mower.
Hockey season starts in about a month and as far as I can tell I’m on track to be in peak form when the puck drops. This is despite an inauspicious start to my off-season training.
In the early going I struggled to address the strength and cardio components laid out in my guide book while also providing my muscles with sufficient recovery time.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I’ve realized that I require additional equipment if I’m to take my training to the next level. One of the items I placed on my must-acquire list was a whole whack of pucks for shooting practice.
Years ago, and for several consecutive years, I traveled with my beer-league buddies each spring to a weekend recreational tournament in the resort town of Banff. One of the perks of this hockey getaway was that a video replay was screened in the arena lounge following each game. This provided us weekend warriors a rare opportunity to see ourselves play on TV. We took full advantage.
The arrival of the off-season at the end of March was a shock, so focused was I on delivering a peak playoff performance that I wasn’t prepared for what came next.
As I dealt with life without my weekly hockey game, I felt like I was at a crossroads and neither of the two choices before me were palatable.