Life is about finding comfort and being at ease with yourself and your surroundings. Sports and comfort are two things you wouldn’t necessarily associate together, but inadvertently they go hand in hand. Where some people may be comfortable on the couch with a beer, watching TV with their wife, it is something a hockey player cannot afford. Not on a game or training day at least. I tend to be a bit different in this respect to many other rec players, in that I might train harder than your run of the mill player.
Comfort comes with being able to push yourself outside the normal levels of performance. It might be delivering a hit on the biggest guy on the opposing team or simply skating till you’re sucking air through your ass. Comfort is being able to bust down the board, beat the D man and then have a shot on goal.
When do I feel most comfortable then? The thing is, I feel comfortable at home after a work out. If I don’t do exercise or work for hockey, I feel uncomfortable. I feel most comfortable in the locker room, when I’m putting on my skates. I think my first post is a good indication of the levels of comfort. I think the trash talk before the game is one of the finest aspects of the game or being part of a team and feeling accepted by that group of people.
The final bit of comfort on a game day comes from going through my normal game day routines and when you walk out of the tunnel to the ice, its the first two strides when the feeling of comfort completely sets in. It’s not necessarily about how the stick feels in your hands, the kit you’re wearing, but inner comfort of being able to face the opposition and go hell for leather every shift. It is the comfort of getting into uncomfortable situations on the ice.
Hockey and personal life are two things you need to keep separate in order to achieve true success and comfort is a big part of being successful. For the first time in a long time I feel comfortable on the ice and at home, but at the same time I can be uncomfortably comfortable on the ice and at home so I can prepare myself mentally for the game.