The rules

I’m almost ready to share a summary of my first few days of toil, but before I do that I want to lay out the ground rules that I've established for this little adventure of mine. I believe that beer league training requires a solid set of rules or the thing could easily take over your life, which runs counter to what beer leaguing is all about. Here’s my list of rules.

Beer league training shall:

1) Cost no money

This isn’t about buying equipment or gadgets, joining a gym or hiring a trainer. This is about spending time each day or week working toward some fitness goals, using what’s readily at hand. We already have many items around our house that will prove useful: hockey sticks, inflatable exercise balls, weights and dumbbells. I have a pair of useable running shoes.

As much as it would make me feel more official to perform my exercises with a hockey brand like Bauer emblazoned across my chest, I’ll have to make do with faded tourist T-shirts from some long forgotten vacation to Hawaii. It saddens me slightly that none of my T-shirts boast that I’m the “Property of” some sort of professional sports team (other than the Montreal Canadiens). So here I am suffering the indignity of exercising as a free man.

2) Be a one-man show

This pursuit is by me, for me, on my own time. I don’t want it to be a burden or inconvenience for other members of my family. My wife supports my endeavour but I don’t want to be bothering her for help with any of the exercises. I’ve vowed that this new training thing will not result in me saying phrases like: “Hey doll, toss me that medicine ball, will ya?” or “Babe, I could use a spotter for my glutes over here!”

3) Fit into my current lifestyle

Like most people these days, I’m busy. I work full time, have daily household chores to complete and a domestic to-do list that mustn’t gather dust. I also have a family that requires daily engagement and personal creative projects that are important to me. I can’t just drop everything because I’ve decided to train for hockey. I have to somehow slip it into my normal routine.

As it stands now, my daily routine affords me some time for my own pursuits late in the evening. This “me time” typically begins at about 10 p.m. I should be in bed by midnight or 1 p.m. but I admit that I push this more often than not. My day usually ends with me unwinding in front of the television with a refreshing beverage. My guilty pleasure at this juncture is to fire up the Xbox for a little bit of NHL 2013 action. Sometimes I spend too much time on this.

Here is where I see opportunity for change. I should be able to cut out this frivolous activity, slip in my hockey training, and still accomplish all the other things I do during my daily me time.

That’s the plan anyway. We’ll see how it goes.

4) Not include guilt

I’m trying to do something to increase my enjoyment of a sport I hold dear, therefore I refuse to allow any aspect of it to be a drag, man. I will do my best to create a training schedule and stick to it, but if I miss a workout because I’m too busy or just don’t feel like doing it that day, so be it. Yes, I’m trying to take my beer league experience to new heights, but I still reserve the right to fall back on that tried and true salvo of the recreational hockey player: “Who cares, it’s only beer league.”