Getting Back Into It

After a few months hiatus from my blog between moving, starting two new jobs, a concussion and wedding planning, I am ready to update you.

I sustained a concussion back in June while playing summer hockey (not competitive hockey either) when I crashed into the end boards after scoring a goal.

I suffered from post-concussion symptoms for over three months, had to miss two full weeks of work from my part time job and another one and a half weeks from my full time job.

Only three weeks ago was I able to get back on the ice for the first time; since I was trying to find a winter team to play on and that was when they had their tryout.

I wasn’t supposed to get back onto the ice that quickly, without first spending weeks in the gym getting closer to being allowed to participate in a non contact practice.

I attended an exhibition game and only managed to play three shifts in the first period before hanging up my skates because the headaches and dizziness were coming back.

A week later, a second team had their last tryout so I had to get back on the ice again so this other coach could see me skate. I managed to participate in 35 minutes of the drills and another 15 minutes of scrimmaging before I decided to leave that practice early too.

After that tryout, I felt some of the post-concussion symptoms for a few days and once they were gone I went to the gym for a cardio session on the elliptical.

I was asked to attend a rec level exhibition game a few days later, so another coach could see me skate, which was my first full game back. I had a bit of a headache and some dizziness right after, but it went away within the hour and didn’t come back.

The next day I went to an Intermediate A tryout, which was a full out practice. I haven’t had a full practice in over 4 years, let alone 3 months following a concussion and no gym time, so I didn’t expect it to go over very well.

I had to take a break halfway through the skate for 10 minutes, and had a bit of a headache afterwards again that went away within the hour.

This past week I managed to get to the gym, finally, on Wednesday after feeling a little under the weather. It was my first huge workout since sustaining the concussion.

I ran 1.6 miles in 18 minutes followed by 30 minutes of strength training, including push-ups, lunges, squats, planks, crunches, bench presses, dips and pull-ups.

I felt AMAZING after the workout and wanted to spend another hour working out but knew I shouldn’t push it.

Sunday I was back on the ice again for a second skate with the Intermediate A team and it was awesome! I had no dizziness and no headaches throughout the practice, including after taking a huge collision with another player on the ice.

Now I am ready to get back into the best shape of my life so I can have a great hockey season while preparing for ball hockey in the summer.

Tonight I will be starting the 6 month workout program in the New Rules of Lifting for Women.

I will be blogging about the program along the way, including some before and after photos with updates after each stage of the program.

I am doing this program to regain the muscle I lost and then some, and improve my hockey game. Weight loss is not the ultimate goal; I should actually gain some weight with the added muscle.

To start, here are my stats as of October 1, 2012:

Weight: 124.8 pounds

Chest: 33 inches

Waist: 25.7 inches

Hips: 36 inches

One thigh: 20.6 inches

One arm: 9.8 inches

Here are “before” photos that I took this morning upon waking up: A front profile view and a side profile view, showing the obliques and my calf muscles.

  

Some more “before” photos from this morning. Another front view, and a side view showing my arm muscle definition:

   

Upon completion of stage 1 of the workout program (takes about 6-8 weeks to complete) I will post a blog with updated photos.

I apologize to all my readers who were expecting content on the Montreal Canadiens, but with the season locked out, I had to find something else to write about. I hope you find my journey through this program just as interesting!

Advertisements

Finding Motivation

Since getting cut from the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) and losing my job all in the span of two weeks, in September, it’s been difficult to find the motivation to do anything.

I stopped going to the gym for almost two months, always finding some excuse to keep me from going, and it only made everything worse.

I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions so I had to find something else, meaningful, to get me motivated again.

Luckily, with my wedding coming up in 227 days, ringing in 2012 had a much bigger impact on my motivation than I thought it would.

Last Monday my gym introduced a new class – kickboxing – and for once the fitness leader is actually more in shape than I am.

The class runs twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays, and is an hour-long combination of kickboxing and mixed martial arts techniques to improve cardiovascular endurance while strengthening and toning the entire body.

I’ve gone to all three classes so far and I am loving every minute of it!

After the first class I made the mistake of telling the trainer, Geoff, that I play hockey and I paid for it in the second class.

“Get those knees up, you call yourself a hockey player?! Come on!”

Amazing.

I also want to start running and spinning again, as I was in the summer. I’ve never been much of a runner my whole life but was thrilled when I was able to run 1.5 miles in less than 13 minutes on just my second attempt back in August.

I haven’t done much cardiovascular training, aside from hockey once a week, since September and I’d like to get back up to 3-4 times a week.

My new gym schedule is going to look something like this:

Monday is kickboxing, Tuesday is back and shoulders, Wednesday is legs, Thursday is kickboxing, Friday is arms, Saturday is a rest day, Sunday is hockey. 

Everyday there is a cardio portion and a core workout.

For my leg routine today I began with a 25 minute bike ride on levels 6-8, whatever that means  on the machine I was using, and kept my RPM above 85 for the duration.

Resistance training began with four sets of 12 squats, while holding a 50 lbs bar.

Circuit one was walking lunges (4 sets of 24) with 15 lbs dumbbells in each hand followed by hamstring leg curls (4 sets of 12 per leg) where I lifted 20 lbs the first two sets and 15 lbs the last two sets.

Circuit two was box step ups (4 sets of 12) while wearing ankle weights, lateral squats while holding a 50 lbs bar (4 sets of 12) and back extensions (4 sets of 12).

To end the workout I did a short core circuit where I performed Russian twists, while crisscrossing my legs like scissors, with an 8 lbs ball (4 sets of 10 per side) followed by stability ball roll-outs (4 sets of 12).

Needless to say, I was sweating tons and breathing hard by the time I was done this almost two-hour workout.

Protein and veggie filled post workout meal

After the gym I had a delicious dinner of three steak strips, a small strip of ribs, mushrooms, potatoes, onions, green beans, peppers, and half a sweet potato.

Before bed I’ll have a vegan protein shake with almond milk.

Mm…protein.

Tomorrow is kickboxing, where we do combinations with a partner for 45 minutes followed by a kick-ass core workout for 10 minutes before we do a cool down stretch.

I am going to own that wedding dress on Sept. 2!