This post was first going to be extolling the virtues of pushing through the pain barrier and playing through pain. However, it would feel remiss to publish that post as it was, because the injury I tried to play though has sidelined me until the new year. So my 2015 side of the 2015-2016 hockey season ended in November after a game on the Isle of Wight.
A week later we were due to play Basingstoke Buffalo, and where I had already struggled with the injury through the week I went training, but by the end, I had to ask team mates to help me get my skates off. I was still convinced I could play, but instead of finding myself going through my normal pre-game routines, I found myself at the emergency department, with no feeling in my left leg and a whole host of other symptoms that pointed toward a serious condition. Luckily it wasn’t the more serious, life altering condition, but none the less, the pain was real and debilitating.
After getting the painkillers from the doctors I thought, right, I can take these and play through it. Obviously this lead to an argument at home and usually my wife doesn’t win too many of the sports related ones where I want to play even if I’m in pain, but she won this one. She told me that I could play if I could put my skates on without wincing in pain. I couldn’t even bend down to do my laces.
So yeah, I’ve missed altogether 3 games, and the time between the last game I played and the first potential one is going to be approximately 8 weeks.
Even on work front, I was being told to take it easy and rest to get myself to get back to full fitness quicker, but being a bone head, I was happily hammering my head against a concrete wall, not wanting to give up. But in the end, I had to admit defeat.
So why do this? Why fight against the injury you know will not allow you to play?
It is difficult to explain, but the best way I can explain it is that I am willing to do whatever it takes to help my team win. I believe that when I have signed for a team and pull on the jersey, my body and every ounce of my being belongs to the team and I need to be there to help them win. Help the team battle, to show my team mates that I will not be defeated, to show everyone that I will not give up and nothing will stop me. I approach work with the same mentality. With me, its all or nothing.
Having to call the coach or my manager and tell them that I can’t play or make it to work is gut wrenching. I feel like I am letting everyone down and that I have revealed a weakness in my armor, a weakness in my body that I have built to withstand hits and the rigors of the game.
So having now “admitted defeat” I am actively trying to work myself back into full fitness so that I can be of use to my teams (hockey and work). On the sports front I have told my physio that I want to be pain free before Christmas – that’s next week at the time of writing this. I’ve told them that I will do everything, I will work harder than any one else. I am determined that I will get the all clear by then. Even if it means that I am doing something extra to make sure that I am ahead of the curve.
Additionally, where I can’t do any heavy lifting due to the injury, I am still trying to make use of the time and work on areas that I can. When I was recovering from my shoulder surgery, I was working on my legs. I looked at the injury from the point of view that even if I had my arm in a sling for six weeks, it didn’t mean I could just sit on my fat ass for six weeks. My legs still worked so I could at least make sure that my legs were going to be in good shape and my endurance level would be right up there.
With this injury I’m working on grip strength to try and build a bit more power into my shooting. I’ve found that where I am getting into scoring and shooting areas, my shot strength hasn’t been the best so if I can use the injury to improve on that area, then it is not time completely wasted. Yes, I’d rather be skating and working, but I need to accept the fact that at the moment I can’t. Truth be told, I should have put my hand up earlier, but being a jerk, I played through it.
What of the games I have played so far? I think they’ve gone well. Even though the points haven’t been coming in thick and fast, I think I’ve performed consistently and always brought 100% and left everything on the ice. I think I’ve been more physical this season than in the past few years and I feel that it has provided some more energy. I still want to push for more though. I’m not satisfied with what I’ve done so far. Progress ends in satisfaction, so I will keep working. Not giving up or letting up in training or in games.
I will hit the ice in 2016 with a vengeance, both in training and games. By the time I get back on the ice, I have had a long break so I will be fresh and ready to do whatever it takes to win.
WHAT EVER IT TAKES!