I had just retired from playing professional hockey after 8 years and had no real clue what I wanted to do with my career. How had I become a professional hockey player? I worked harder than anyone and I did whatever was necessary to win. By doing whatever was necessary, I became the fittest athlete I could possibly be. I loved working out and I loved working out because it was something I could control.
On the ice there is chaos and behind the scenes there is drama and egos. In the gym, I was the master of my own domain. After 8 years of professional hockey and 5 years of top level Junior hockey my body was beat up and had enough. It was beat up from banging people around on the ice and beat up by the long hours I had put into the gym for all those years. After 13 years and 3 surgeries’ in the last 3 seasons of my career, I was done. It was time for a new chapter; to build a new life, and a new body.
Is it strange to say that after 4 years of being retired, that I now feel better equipped to meet the demands of physical fitness than when I was in the midst of a professional sports career? This is my reality. What I have learned over the past 4 years is how to train properly. Not to just grow my bicep or to push more weight while I do bench press. At 16 I was bench pressing 305lbs and over the next 11 years I would have multiple shoulder injuries eventually leading to shoulder surgery. Now I can perform the Kettlebell snatch with 20kg bells 75 times with each arm within 5 minutes. How can this be possible after what I have put my body through? It’s simple. Knowledge is the key to success. Additionally, meeting the right people who have spent the time doing research and testing athletes to see how to increase athletic performance has further supported the development of my knowledge base.
When you continually beat up your body by playing sports you are filled with scar tissue within the fascia of your muscles. Scar tissue is also known as something we call adhesions. Scar tissue and adhesions bind up and tie down tissues preventing them from moving freely. This causes those muscles to become shorter and weaker leading to reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. Reduced range of motion and loss of strength eventually lead to the cumulative injury cycle due to muscle imbalance. How do we fix and prevent this from happening?