It has been a while since an update on these pages. It has been not through lack of writing, though. I’ve had a bunch of posts in the works, but I have always ended up deleting the posts for one reason or another. Possibly because there hasn’t been much in terms of an actual update. It has just been rambling, for the sake of rambling. What’s going on then?
Well, it has been no secret that I’ve had problems with my back, but the good news is that I had the problem treated. A few weeks ago I had an injection and a caudal epidural put in to pump a bunch of cortisone in the back and it seems to have worked. Once all the muscle tension was gone I felt normal… for the first time in ages.
I’ve played one game since the injection and it feels strange being able to move, transition and do stops and starts without feeling any pain. The one thing that has suffered big time is the conditioning side of things. While I worked out throughout the back ordeal, my work outs were limited to chest, (seated) arm exercises, and some shoulder work, seated where possible. What was lacking in all of the work outs was that I could not train explosiveness or keep up general conditioning. Bike work was OK for about 5 minutes before the repetitive motion was too much to bare. Same for cross trainer. Where I’m doing a bit better, I still can’t run without pain, but all in due time.
Right now as we’ve got a break from games before the final crunch of the season, I’ve been working my nuts off at the gym to try and gain back some of the overall conditioning that I lost. We are still in contention for a play-off spot and we are in the cup semi-finals weekend, which means that every game is important and we can’t afford to slip up. A similar situation as we had last season, where after Christmas we could not afford to lose a single game and went 11 straight undefeated to be crowned conference and league champions. So plenty of hockey to be played and a lot of important games on the line. The age old adage of “spring is hockey players’ best time” is true. The game schedule is stacked from here to April and then beyond. What this season has shown is that the league is more competitive and the competition is ever closer. There is no such thing as an easy game anymore.
With regards to the back issue, one question I have had more often than not over the whole ‘ordeal’ is that is this it, am I done playing?
To be brutally honest, the thought had been plaguing my mind. But it wouldn’t have been because of the back only. For three seasons now, I’ve had to deal with adversity. I played a season with a shoulder that was pretty held together by a thread, the season after I lost all of the summer to rehabbing from the surgery and only hit my stride March-April time and now the back issue plagued me for nearly five months. When the back was at its worst, I thought that I can’t be going through this again; Working myself to a great level of fitness and playing some good hockey for it all to be sent back to square one in pretty much one instant. I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to get back. BUT (there’s always a but)… When I looked back on my career, I have always fought adversity and the odds. When doctors told me that I should not be playing because of my knees, I pretty much said “fuck you, I’ll prove you wrong.”
That has been my motto throughout my career, I’ve always fought against adversity and where at one time it felt like I couldn’t do it anymore, let me tell you that I am 100% not going anywhere, sorry to anyone that would rather see the back of me, but I’m going to be lacing them up in the future as well. Now that I am pain free and have had a game under my belt without pain, I still love the game and everything that goes with it.