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Hurricanes Visit "Bodies" Exhibit

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes

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At 36 years of age and still considered one of the best all-around forwards in the NHL, Hurricanes Captain Rod Brind’Amour, a.k.a. “Rod the Bod,” thought he knew his body pretty well.

After his experience this Tuesday afternoon, he realized that wasn’t necessarily the case.

Brind’Amour, along with fellow Hurricane Ray Whitney and their families, visited the “Bodies” exhibit at Southpoint Mall in Durham.  The exhibit features real human bodies which have been preserved and dissected in order to show their inner workings, as well as galleries which show the preserved organs that make up the respiratory, nervous and other systems of the body.

It was a chance for the players to literally get an inside look their bodies and how they work.

“It’s a great exhibit,” said Brind’Amour.  “You get a whole new perspective on your body, how it works and how amazing it is.  Being able to see it broken down like that is really mind-boggling.”

Not that Raleigh’s favorite fitness freak didn’t already know the value of being in shape, but Brind’Amour says seeing the exhibit has given him a greater appreciation of how his solid conditioning has helped him avoid injuries over the years.

“I’m surprised I haven’t broken down a lot more, because there’s so much that goes into every movement of your body,” he said.  “It’s truly amazing to see how we’re all put together and what it takes to just even move  It’s a great exhibit to see that.”

Also on hand for the tour were Hurricanes Head Athletic Trainer/Strength and Conditioning Coach Pete Friesen, as well as two members of the newly-formed Junior Hurricanes Tier I hockey team.

Friesen used the models to give the youngsters, and anyone else who would listen, tips about conditioning.  One pointer about how it is best to do cardio activities in the morning and weight lifting later in the day was apparently useful for players of all ages.

“That’s the first time I’ve heard that,” said a stunned Brind’Amour.

Friesen said the exhibit presented a unique chance to see how all the working parts of the body both small and large come together to create a working whole.

“A lot of times you talk to surgeons and they’re just dealing with a certain area right underneath where they’re cutting through, but this shows the body in its totality, how the hamstrings are related to the lower back and how those are related to function in general, so it’s a real eye-opener to see such beautiful dissections,” he said.

Given their hockey backgrounds, the members of the Hurricanes organization still couldn’t help but look at the bodies from their own point of view, such as when Friesen pointed out that one cadaver couldn’t have been a hockey player due to his undeveloped back muscles.

However, given the grueling NHL schedule, Brind’Amour for one was glad he didn’t run into any of his colleagues in the exhibit.

”We don’t want to see dead hockey players, so we’ll wait on that,” he said.  “I’m glad there wasn’t any of us floating around.  Maybe in a couple of years we might be in there, but not now.”

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