A Year Ago Today.

A year ago today was Thursday the 29th of September 2016. Like almost every day, I got up at 7am and went to school where I would get lots of reading done as well as participated in a late day lecture before going to practice that evening.

It was a long day and I was tired, not really in the mood for practice. Once I got to the rink, it seemed like I wasn’t the only one feeling like that, but a couple of my teammate were demotivated and tired as well. That day, we practiced in the practice rink where we don’t like to train as it is way too cold in there. That did not necessarily boost our mood, on the contrary.

It turned out to be an awful practice with an even more awful ending for me…

A teammate came on a breakaway and shot the puck at me, I went down in a butterfly to make the save, at the same time, my teammate fell and crashed right into my extended knee. I felt incredible pain and knew right away that I was injured big time.

Once I got to the emergency at the hospital, the longest wait ever started until I could actually see a doctor. The doctor at the hospital was of 0 help at all, I did not receive any pain meds or compression or anything. It was the most painful time ever!

Long story short, after an awful 2 days with 0 support in Sweden, I was able to fly home to Switzerland where I would finally get an MRI and see my doctor and receive a knee brace and compression shorts and lots of medicine.

Finally, after 3 days without knowing what was up with my knee, I received the diagnosis. I completely tore my MCL and partially tore my ACL!

Looking back at that injury now, I was able to develop myself a lot during this time of doing my rehab. I got to know my body a lot better than I have ever known before. I strongly believe that this injury was my body’s way of telling me that I needed rest, which was long overdue.

It was a long rehab phase. The first phase was until mid-January and then after reinjuring the knee in February, the second rehab phase after the surgery was until 3 weeks ago, but is still ongoing.

Not only was I able to develop myself as an person and the knowledge of my body, but I was able to have a lot more time for family and my friends again. Through their support, I received an incredible amount of new motivation, not only for the rehab, but to play hockey again. I was able to set a goal again and work my ass off to achieve this goal.

Although it was a very tough time, I believe this was very important for me. Especially being back on the ice now, I feel like a new goalie. I feel much better in my body, I am more aware of all my movements I make and lastly, I am happy. I am happy to be back on the ice, being able to practice and especially play games again.

Exactly tonight, we will practice in the cold training rink again… So wish me luck! J

Xo

Florence

1st month back in Sweden

It’s been quite some time since my last blog post and I apologize for that! I’ve been creazy busy ever since I got back to Sweden, but now I got a free second! 🙂

Once I came back to Sweden, my second year in my two years master programm at university started right away. It wasn’t a soft start, on the contrary, we started digging right into it with assignments due the very same week and basically ever since, my schedule outside of hockey has been reading and studying for university.

Hockey wise, I could not have wished for a better time. I was originally going to a tournament with the nationalteam in France in mid-august. Once that was clear that I won’t be able to make it due to my knee rehab, my new goal was to be ready for the start of the season here in Sweden which was on September 8th. I knew that it was a very ambitious goal to be ready by then, but I absolutely did not want to miss the beginning of the season.

The first week in Sweden, I went on the ice but just with my skates on, no equipment. I did lots of different skating drills and a lot of 30′:30′ intervalls. So far in my rehab, everytime I had additional weights on me, my knee wasn’t good. So that’s why I went on with just skates, it seemed my knee wasn’t ready for the additional weight of my equipment. Additionally to the on-ice sessions, I trained twice a day in the gym. I mostly did conditioning and my rehab exercises in the morning and then in the evening I would do weights and lots of core before going on the ice.

The second week was the same, except for instead of going on the ice with just skates, I was put on my full equipment. It felt like the right thing to do, after the previous week went so well. Unfortunately, that did not go as planned and I went off the after 10 minutes of skating. My off-ice programm stayed the same, it was very intense but it was much needed. So after going off  the ice, I rested the next day from the ice, and tried again 2 days later. This time with more success and I was able to skate a lot more and yet again do some 30′:30′ intervalls on the ice with full equipment.

The 3rd week and that was the week of the season opener, I decided to stand in net and do full ice practices with the team. Like I wrote before, I really did not want to miss the season opener! 🙂 We had a total of 3 on-ice practices before the first game and I went full out in 2 of them. It felt great, my knee was doing well, I was highly motivated and ready to play! Although it was game week, I could not decrease the amount of off-ice training, as this was still so important for my fitness and my knee for my rehab. It was super though, very tiring but I managed.

The first game was against Lulea and we unfortunately lost the game 3-2. I felt alright, but knew that this wasn’t my best game I have ever played. There was still lots to improve on in every aspect of my game and then especially my confidence as well. After the first game, we had a day off before we had the second game againd Djurgarden where we won 3-2 after shootouts. That game was way better for me, I felt more confident in all the movements and saves that I made.

The fourth week was pretty much the same than the 3rd week. Incredibly intense on the off-ice and lots of on-ice practices before we made the trip up to Lulea for two away games. The first game of the two we won with 3-2 after shootout, it was my best game so far. I felt good, my legs felt explosive, I was more confident and was able to make quicker decisions on plays. The second game, less than 12 hours later, we won again with 3-2, this time in regular time though. 🙂

Now this week, because of such high off-ice intensity the four previous weeks, I had a recovery week. Instead of 2 off-ice trainings a day, I would only have one a day but a 3-game week. It was a perfect timing as my body felt tired after such an intensive 4 weeks and 4 games.

On Wednesday we played another game against Djurgarden and we won this one with 3-2 as well (i knowwww, always 3-2!!!).

This weekend, we play two homegames! Today against Leksand and tomorrow against Brynäs! Keep your fingers crossed! 🙂

xo Florence