Through this blog I've explored, at lenght, the finer points of hockey and why we do it. I suppose in a way the attitude I have towards hockey is the same I take for every aspect of my life, whether it is work, family or friends. To me hockey is about dedication and the game has taught me the ethic for work and my ambitions. What keeps me doing it, though? What makes me doing three sets of 15 reps of power cleans or squats, what makes me get up in the mornings and make me want to go to work or pull a late night with training? All in all it is fun and the fulfilment that I get out of doing things.
I think at the moment the most enjoyable player to watch and a great role model for younger players is Alexander Ovechkin of Washington Capitals. What ever your opinion on the guy is, you have to admit that he brings the fun element to the game. It's something I want to replicate when I'm on the ice or in the office. I want to have fun and make things count.
Last year my season, like said on this blog on many occasions, was ruined by a nagging knee injury. Hockey was no longer fun and going to the rink felt like a chore, training felt like a chore and along with that, everything felt like I was stuck in really thick porridge (for lack of a better expression). Human beings crave the feeling of belonging and success to be truly effective. Last season I had none of that through my leisure activities and that fed into a lot of things in my personal life as well.
However, when you find a spark for things and fight through a slump, you find the great things you first fell in love with. For me the turning point first came when I could skate pain free for the first time in over two years. It was at that moment in September last year when I realised that if I train hard to strenghten my legs, I would have a great season. I have started to find a lot of things I've been missing in my game and I know exactly what I need to improve on. At the moment, despite the shoddy weather and general misery of the British isles, I am possibly living the best stages of my life so far. And it is all because I am having fun again and I really feel that the professional approach I have taken to training and the mantra I have going when I get to the rink is really helping me push myself to new directions.
On a side note: A while back I mentioned about a Facebook group set up to support me in through the season and spur me on to train hard for a pro try out. I take the group as a source for inspiration and those people who have joined (some 67 so far) I think deserve to know what my plans are. I have decided that on the training part I am going to go hell for leather. Whether that will give me the physical strenght to go for it, remains to be seen, but I would rather give it a shot than live the rest of my life wondering what could've been. Life and hockey is about seizing opportunities and making the most out of those opportunities that present themselves through hard work.
When you train this hard, its more than just a sport.