Friday, May 23, 2008

Football training.

I think, had I done today's training on the first day, it may not have been so brutal. I don't think Mark Hatfield wanted me to die, but he also seemed to have a hard time believing I was struggling as much as I was. And rightly so. Even a fairly out-of-shape individual should be able to make it through this routine without vomiting or passing out or collapsing. Well, I didn't (quite) vomit, I didn't pass out, but I certainly collapsed. I just could not do the last couple of excercises. I was totally done. For today and for the whole week. Mark Hatfield, from Hatfield's Athletic Development Centre, put me through one of the most rigorous workouts I have had all week. And, for the most part, it was extremely familiar to me. The old-school football drills where the whistle blows, and you have to run right, then left, then forward and backward and drop to the ground and get back up and then do it all over again. The running through the rope ladder, the drills with the pylons. All very familiar. I used to do this stuff like it was as easy as walking. Then again, that was ten years and 70 pounds ago.

There was some new stuff too, stuff I had never seen. Hatfield runs a strength, agility and balance camp, and he has a lot of devices to help with each of those things. Jumping through obstacle courses, doing strange pushups with ropes dangling from trees, and then the balancing stuff. Boards on balls, balls on boards, all kinds of stuff to help learn and maintain the delicate art of balancing without falling over. An art which I apparently have a long way to go before learning. And then the giant hill. There is a giant hill at Mooney's Bay, one which is ideal for people who want to train for things by...running up hills. I am not one of those people. But I did it, two "sprints" up the side, while Mark ran beside me, in fact, danced beside me. Once, when I was playing waterpolo, a friend who swam in the Olympics told me he would watch my stroke and help me swim faster. I was pretty fast. And I took of at full speed, showing him what my stroke currently was. And before long, I realized he was swimming, on his back, underneath me in the pool, not even moving his arms, and looking up at me as I swam. This is how I felt today.

Mooney's Bay is a very nice, idyllic setting for training such as this. It's picturesque, it's pretty in the morning, and it's green on the grass and sandy on the beach. And it's also covered in goose poop. So you can't mind getting dirty when you're doing up-downs or pushups, or just plain falling over. And I did a good deal of that. Mark put me through my paces, and it was definitely tough, and I am certainly glad it's all over. I just realized something though. Mark used to play for the Miami Dolphins, when Dan Marino was toward the end of his career. And he began to tell me a story about Dan Marino. And how Marino, after the game where he broke the all-time TD pass record, invited Mark over for Thanksgiving dinner. And then he pulled up in front of Mark in a van. And then...I forgot to get the rest of the story! He was telling me the story as we jogged around between 40-second excercises in the circuit training, then Doc and Woody phoned, we got sidetracked, and I forgot to ask how the story ended! How silly of me.

Anyway, it's all done, I'm still alive, and all is good. I wonder if I've lost any weight or anything. Here's Mark Hatfield's website:


  1. This has been great Radio all week. I have really enjoyed it.

    Steve, Barrhaven

  2. Thank you! I has been awful for me...but helpful, I hope.