Today marks the 10th day that I’ve been down in “Stumpland” (actually nickname for Portland). The week has passed very well wit few hiccoughs. The only complaint I seem to have is with the fact that I got to sleep ionce he whole week. Now, this isn’t like the normal “sleep till noon” sleep in. My new sleep time barely passed nine o’clock. I even got the opportunity to wake up at 445, the reason for which I’m still not sure. Nevertheless, I would have done it all over again. Let me first explain just exactly what this was.
My original agreement for comin down so early (a week and a bit before the start of camp) was so that I could join a majority of the hawks at a Pre-Camp Conditioning Camp. This camp was put on by our assistant coach, who was already down. The plan was for the group of us to skate around noon, then head to the local YMCA for a workout. These plans all changed the moment I walked into my temporary billets front door. I was met with a courteous hello and the news that I had been volunteered to help coach at the local youth hockey camp. Only that this camp ran from 9 – 11 every morning. This would have been fine for me, seeing as how I was working out every week day at 730 this summer. The only downside was the fact that we were supposed to be there half an hour eary. and it took us almost an hour to drive to the rink. By itself, the driving knocked our sleeptime back and extra hour. Thankfully our presence at the camp seemed to inspire the kids there to work a bit harder and get a bit better.
I also got the chance to catch up with Jerry Moss, our Director of In-Game Entertainment and Community Connections. In reality, all he does is come with us to events and yell really loud. One of the greatest people I’ve ever gotten to known. Turns out that he’s been spending his summer travelling around Oregon teaching hockey camps in school gymnasiums and parking lots. I even heard that he had a camp with a few Somalian immigrants, but don’t quote me.
[first day of camp] Today was an exhausting day, as most first days of training camps go. It seems as if all the leage heads got together and agreed on the first day being the hardest. Must be some strange desire to wear out everyone before anything starts. We began the day at the crisp time of 8 in the morning. This was actually the latest starting time I’ve had over the last couple weeks. As our warm up began Richie, our strength coach, started taping lines on opposite ends of the banquet room. As with any dictation of lines in a large room, we instantly became horrified. Visions of endless sprints ran through our minds, and see how Richie never liked deviating from the league norm, it looked like those visions were going to beocme reality. We were and weren’t disappointed at the same time.
For anyone who has ever done the wretched “beep test” you can feel my pain in saying that this was probably harder than it. Turns out that there are more ways than one to absolutely anihilate people while testing their endurance. The lines were placed around 20 yards apart, halfway of the room. We lined up on one side and were instrucetd to run 15 lengths as fast as possible. An approximately three football feilds long sprint. Oh… and we had do it THREE TIMES! That nice welcoming gift