July 6, 2009
11:50 p.m. CDT
My alarm clock went off at 8:37 a.m., due to my very precise planning the night before, then I stumbled to the bathroom to shower and wake up. The first day of camp is always interesting -- everyone is a little curious about each other and how much they have improved since the last camp. There are new faces, and some old familiar faces, and everyone is very nice and excited to get the camp started.
To start the day off, everyone misses breakfast -- because of physicals, we are all getting by the doctors, so we bus to this orthopedic clinic place near the Mall Of America (I base the locations of Minnesota around the mall). While we are there, we get everything done, from bloodwork to, well, what you would imagine in a physical.
Next, we find ourselves at Xcel Energy Center for lunch. As you can imagine, everyone's a little hungry from missing breakfast, but still worried about eating too much due to our fitness testing at 3 o'clock. At this point there are rumors about doing all this running stuff for it, so the last thing anyone wants is to be known as guy who threw up at the testing.
Trust me, I still get a hard time about hitting the coach in the back with a puck this year ... come on, guys, let it go. Ha ha ha.
Turns out the testing wasn't bad. We did some explosive testing, which is basically seeing how high and how far you can jump, and this testing called "functional movement screening," which tells us about little imbalances in our bodies that we need to work on. Of course, I still had enough energy to put Travis Green (one of our trainers for injuries) to sleep with a choke hold. (Yes, I am very excited to watch UFC100 Saturday night. GO GSP.)
After our physical testing, we had mental skills development with Dr Charlie Maher. A really smart man who has worked with a lot of athletes, he has also even worked with astronauts. We talked about being able to separate our hockey lives from our real lives -- hockey is what we do but not who we are. I know that sounds really corny, but it's true.
To finish off the day, we stuffed our faces at a buffet-style dinner, we talked, had some laughs, and got to know each other a little more.