As the end of my hockey season with the York Buds in the Senior B division of the Golden Blades Women’s Hockey League approached my anticipation for preparing for the CWHL draft heightened.
Heading into provincials weekend at the beginning of April I had a workout regiment planned and was ready to give up chocolate.
After my team went 3-0 to start the provincials we headed into our fourth game in under 30 hours; quarter-finals. The game ended in a tie and went to a double overtime where our team was handed a penalty. As I was attempting to clear our zone I wound up on a breakaway, and scored short-handed to put our team into the semifinals the next morning.
Our semifinal game also went to overtime where we lost a heart breaking match on a goal that deflected off one of our own player’s skates. We still had a berth in a championship game though, for the bronze medal.
Early in the second period of the championship game I went into the boards awkwardly with an opposing player and threw my lower back out. I came off the ice and my teammates sent me back out to play, they weren’t going to let me miss the rest of this game.
I was playing centre and taking faceoffs was becoming extremely excruciating, usually taking me a few seconds to fully stand up again from the bent position for the draw. I kept playing anyways because I was determined to take home a bronze medal.
Once again my team would face the familiar threat of sudden death overtime in a do-or-die game. I was put back on the ice and our line took the puck into the offensive zone. I took a pass from the left-winger who was at the top of the faceoff circle and put it through the goalie’s legs. The provincial bronze medal was ours.
In the days following provincials I went to physiotherapy for my back where I was told I had slipped two of my lower discs and all of my muscles had gone into spasm and locked in order to protect the injured spine.
Right away fear crept into me; would I be able to skate in time for the draft? Would I even be able to train in the upcoming months until the draft?
Since I had absolutely no movement in my lower back I was told to stay off the ice and away from the gym until my muscles relaxed and unlocked, the time frame was at least a month.
An entire month of sitting around, not playing hockey and not hitting the gym was not what I had in mind as a way to prepare for the CWHL.
Finally, the second week into May and over a month since my injury occurred I have been cleared to skate and train again. I have been given an intense leg workout to regain the strength I lost over the past month and have been advised to do a ton of abdominal and back exercises to rebalance and strengthen my core and avoid injury in the future.
Until the CWHL Draft in late July I will be updating my blog with how my training is going; getting back into shape after a month of absolutely no activity, getting my skill level back up to a highly competitive level after 18 months of playing Senior B hockey and the sacrifices, speed bumps and road blocks along the way.