I was never much of a fitness buff. I’m still not. Some people get enjoyment out of exercise on its own but not me. As a kid, there was really no need to train for hockey because let’s face it, kids as a rule are pretty fit.
However, there was one summer where I did train. It was between grade 10 and 11. I had made the high school team the year before but had basically sat on the bench all year. That wasn’t a problem because I was pretty happy to have just made the team. However, I wasn’t too interested in doing it a second year.
I don’t remember how hard at it I went and suspect it wasn’t too hard. However, I do remember running three or four times a week and lifting some weights all summer. I don’t think it had any impact on my weight or strength but it did help my confidence. By September, I was ready to play and not sit.
Hunger is a funny thing. I believe it is one of the key ingredients for success at anything in life. I still love that element of sport where the old gun goes head to head with the young gun, or the team of veterans faces down the team of upstarts. There’s something to be said for experience and one can still be hungry as they age, but in general, the athlete or team that hasn’t won the prize is always hungrier and willing to pay just a little higher price than the ones they are competing against.