Monday, 3 August 2009

Project complete, or is it?

10 months has passed since I started writing this blog, which means that I’ve spent 10 months training and fighting through the season. Fighting is quite an appropriate word to use about the season, as I simply fought against personal issues, frustration and to get to the play offs. Needless to say, we didn’t get to the play offs and just avoided finishing at the bottom of the table.

So what did this project of mine leave me with? A day after, I have a bad taste in my mouth about it and feel like all the effort I put in on a individual level was for nothing. I trained religiously, prepared for every game and wanted to succeed, but it was all for nothing in the end. I think we managed to win a grand total of 3 games, and one of those was given to us after the league awarded it to us, so winning two games by merit isn’t something that I’m overly excited about. I suppose now I know what the New York Islanders feel like. I could carry out an analysis that went wrong this season, but that might upset people who read this blog, specially my team mates and I don’t think that voicing those opinions here would be the right way of doing things. All I will say is that the team didn’t gel together well enough and we didn’t play as a team. Effectively I think we suffered from the ‘Me disease’ the whole season.

What is more frustrating is that we were going to turn the boat around. We made a play off appearance a few years ago, but now that doesn’t seem like it will be possible, though we have the breadth and the depth in the team to go deep in the play offs. Then again, these are points that I will raise at our AGM once it will be held.

What I said at the start was that the season is an emotional rollercoaster and it was definitely filled with some highs and accompanied by some serious low’s as well. Too bad the lows out weigh the highs at this point, but we must look at them from a learning perspective and move on from there. I have been frustrated more than I have been happy this season and that has ultimately hampered my performance and perhaps even put a few of my team mates off from working with me, but it is just my nature and the type of competitor I am. I still retain the same flame for the game as I did when I was younger. I still want to learn more and play above my abilities and have my chance to shine and I think on a few occasions I did shine, whether it was on the score sheet or just doing things little things like finishing my checks and working the way my coach and lines mates want to. While also knowing myself that I have got off the ice with a few bruises to prove that I have put everything I had on the line for the good of the team, whether it made me angry or hate the game for a moment.
As the season is now wrapped up, I’d like to extend a thank you to all those people who had a part to play in it and with this blog. I also want to thank my closest friends and family for always being there, giving me the advice I needed and for the encouragement. Your help has been invaluable to me this season and has helped me reach some of my goals I had set and described throughout this blog. I won’t go into favouritism and list everyone here, but the people I refer to surely know who they are.
Also a big thanks goes to those people who I know and don’t know for their inspiration. If it wasn’t for the stories I heard or people that I met who have overcome injuries or other adversities would I have realised that my problems aren’t so big that I should throw it all away. These stories gave me perspective and the drive to go further with my sport. Most recently I heard from my wife’s friend. I’ve met this guy a few times but had no idea of the challenges he’s faced in the recent years. By not giving up, he is now running the London Marathon in 2010 and if you can dig deep you can donate to his cause at:

So what now? Well I’m going to take some time off from updating this blog, most likely I will be back in October when I start training again, perhaps sooner. Now I am taking some time to relax and recoup after the season and treat my knee (yes it flared up again midway through the season), my hip and my shoulder. I know my mom would probably say ‘stop playing’ but I just love the game too much to stay away from it. Now it’s time for me to enjoy the summer, or what’s left of it and maybe spend some time seeing friends I’ve ignored throughout the training process and the season.

Again, thanks for all of those who have read these lunatic ravings of a mad man. I will see you in a few months time.