Morning Free Association: April 5

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Yesterday, Sports Illustrated published an amazing story about longtime Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, including a candid look at him at home, with regards to his insane training regimen, and how teammates look at him.

One of the first things we find out is that Chara catalogues each of his workouts, his training, even his puck shooting. He keeps recent years’ data with him at home in a nondescript office folder.

…For almost three decades now, the 41-year-old Bruins defenseman has meticulously catalogued every single one of his offseason workouts. Each exercise. Each repetition. Each kilogram. Curious how many pucks he shot on, say, Aug. 31, 2014? How long he spent, oh, mountain biking on July 17, 1996? Those details live within that folder, protected by a plastic sleeve, stashed above his desk in the family’s combo office-playroom.

Knowing the above information makes it unsurprising that he has his older journals at home in Slovakia.

Peeling open the folder, Chara thumbs through years of data. “So that’s 2017, 2016, ’15, ’14 . . . every day, what I did,” he says. “And I have a whole bunch at home, too, in Slovakia.” The record-keeping began there. His father, Zdenek, was an Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler for communist Czechoslovakia who later became the Slovak national team coach. He had young Zee swinging a hockey stick encased in a flower pot of hardened concrete, and performing shoulder raises with buckets of water that Zdeno pumped from a 13-meter-deep, hand-dug well.

But more than hard work, Zdenek stressed working smart. And smart workers used journals.

To this day, at the outset of each summer, Chara sits down and scripts his training sessions in month-long segments. “I’m a thinker,” he says. “I like to do the work of preparation. When I start doing things, I like to already have a purpose.” He begins with a basic workout calendar on the first page, then breaks down each workout into sets, reps and weight on the second. The remaining pages are left blank, to be filled later with a running diary detailing how every exercise makes his body feel. Each ache. Each sore. Each burst of energy, color-coded and organized chronologically since adolescence. “You can easily figure out patterns of preparation,” he says. “It’s like a big puzzle.”

I love how he documents how each session makes him feel. I think Count Rugen would enjoy his pain journal.

Perhaps the most surprising part is learning that Zdeno still relies on learning about new methods from other athletes in sports with some similar but different skills than hockey requires, like speed and figure skating. Chara has consulted a local skating and skills coach who has helped him to wield his massive frame in space with more efficiency.

In Chara’s eyes, every elite athlete has wisdom to impart. He has sought powerlifting tips from Slovakian weightlifter Martin Tešovič and discussed endurance-based training with professional cyclists, such as countryman Peter Sagan. His pregame warmup now incorporates throwing and kicking a tennis ball, an exercise borrowed from NHL goalies. After meeting Olympic ice dancers Alex and Maia Shibutani at a Bruins game in 2016, Chara asked for help improving his balance and skating stride; the siblings FaceTimed him from the ice that summer and passed along drills. He also used to Greco-Roman wrestle regularly with his father’s national team charges, believing the stand-up style was good training for puck battles. “I still do that every summer, but not as much as I used to,” he says. “All the other guys are retired.”

With all his training and planning, Chara doesn’t need a trainer for motivation. In fact he has plenty of it to spare, even calling up Bruins teammates to get them working out during bye weeks.

“He doesn’t need a trainer or a coach yelling at him to get back in shape,” says retired Boston teammate Andrew Ference. “He’s the opposite. He needs people to tug on his reins: ‘Zee, you’re playing 28 minutes a night, we’re in the playoffs, you don’t need to go into the gym and have a full workout after the game.’ ” Consider: On the second day of the Bruins’ bye week in early January, Miller received a call from Chara, suggesting that they book ice time with team power skating coach Kim Brandvold to stay fresh. “I don’t like to sit around and do nothing,” he says. “I like to keep getting better, staying in the rhythm.”

With all the stuff he has going on, he’s worried about sitting around a bit and resting during a mandated five-day resting period. I guess that’s how he will ensure that he’ll play until he is 45, which is only four years away.

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Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/nhl-stanley-cup-howe-hull-richard-removal-1.4604985

Article about the band about to be removed from the Cup. The video of Gordie Howe’s last goal…. Anyway is slashing the shi t out of Howe’s stick. A modern stick would be in a million pieces!

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Langway.!!!!

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Ha! No and I are going to Cowboy Junkies AGAIN! Tonight!!!! WPKN, the world’s greatest radio station bar none (wpkn.org) was selling the tix at a discount, money going to support the station (listener supported!). I bit, we’re going.
Seriously, WPKN! T in a in. You never know what you’ll hear as every dj does whatever they want. Classical, reggae, blues, one guy plays fucking show tunes! Check it out sometime!

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

I love that Jo is now No.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

I’m going to be Noe, now!

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Now now, No and Noe!

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

I love this station because it has no format! None!

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

My last comment is awaiting moderation. Weird!

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

Four Haggs links requires moderator approval to publish

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

Ha!

phonymahoney
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IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

I did the same thing last night. The first 8 replies in a row were all
“Uhhh, don’tcha haveta score goals to win a hockey game?”

There was the one predictable “Tuukkaa sux” guy, though.

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

I could understand the whole “Tuukka sucks!” thing IF Tim Thomas were being benched for Tuukka to play. Maybe. But, TT is long retired now, and Tuukka puts up good numbers. He shouldn’t have to vanquish the Ghost of 2011 Timmy for his entire career. It’s ridiculous.

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Tuukka puts up good numbers

Does he not have the best Save % record in NHL history? (or something like that)

What do these folks want? They are best ignored

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

I read that as “what do these fucks want?”

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

Shouldn’t that be good enough?!

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Hope everyone survived The Windageddon last night.
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Got my power back around 12:30am but still a lot without power this morning.

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

The dog was twitchy all night because of the noises the trees were making.
She started barking at everything when the trash bins blew over.

I took her outside to water the lawn before putting her to bed and as soon as I got her out the door, she panicked and ran back to the house
“All right I guess I can go out and NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE!”

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Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Awww, poor Vegas. Don’t blame her though! I was scrambling around my porch to get lawn chairs and such inside after the lid to my grill blew off the porch. I was all about getting back inside as quickly as possible.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

I don’t have much power. I can barely get out of bed this morning!

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Ha!

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

Morning hockey pals!

  • Well, I thought I was feeling better toward the end of the workday yesterday. Not the case. Now I’m at the point where I have a hacking cough and can barely get an uninterrupted sentence out.
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  • I’m very excited for the hockey tonight, and am psyched that Rick Nash is not too far from returning. Too bad about Carlo, I really thought we were going to have a full crew going into the Most Wonderful Time of the Year™.
  • I had another point to make but it’s gone now. Oh well!
  • Satan 81's Sister
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    Satan 81's Sister

    Cameron was the true star of that movie. Ferris can get bent!

    IntentionallyWidenberg
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    IntentionallyWidenberg

    This isn’t one of those “zombie apocalypse” plagues, is it?
    ’cause I hate those.
    comment image
    You’ve got something on your face…
    right… there…
    almost got it…
    and there….
    and…

    MadScientist72
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    MadScientist72

    I really thought we were going to have a full crew going into the Most Wonderful Time of the Year™

    We’ve had exactly one completely healthy day all regular season. Why should the playoffs be any different?

    The London Bear
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    The London Bear

    Great stuff this ^^

    Just when you think you couldn’t think any more highly of Chara!

    These 12.30am (7.30pm for you) start times are annoying – they’re too late really for me to stay up but early enough that I might be tempted into watching the first ten minutes. Little Bear is on Easter break, so it’s not like I have to be up very early…

    The sun has come out – just in time for my 7-day work stint. D’oh!

    phonymahoney
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    phonymahoney

    Yeah, I can’t imagine that this schedule ever does you any favors, except maybe matinee games?

    The London Bear
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    The London Bear

    5pm (Eastern) games are my favourite. I get home from work usually around 8.30 or 9 so that gives time for some food and to get settled before the game.

    Come playoff time and 1am starts I’m planning to get to bed early, then wake up and watch from the start of the 2nd period!

    Satan 81's Sister
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    Satan 81's Sister

    In my perfect world, sports things would start around 6:00pm. I’m usually falling asleep by the middle of the second period.

    The London Bear
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    The London Bear

    You have some crazy early mornings though, don’tcha?

    I try to keep an eye on the Slovakian League too, and their games start at 4.30 for me. FAR too many other things going on at 4.30pm!

    Satan 81's Sister
    Editor
    Satan 81's Sister

    Saturdays are always dumb early. Rest of the week it depends on the day. Changes all the time so my body shuts down around 9:00 just to be safe. lol

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Hi Pals!
    The more I see of Chara, the more I am amazed by the man! Most would assume that big body would carry us through life without problems. This guy strives to make that big body better – even at 41 years old!
    Had a great time in Tariffville gorge yesterday. Not far from Tallest is some truly great whitewater. I need to make the pilgrimage more often! Trying to get out today, too!
    Okay Bruins, just finish the season without getting anyone else hurt!

    phonymahoney
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    phonymahoney

    Z is a fucking legend. A monster!

    MadScientist72
    Member
    MadScientist72

    He is one seriously disciplined dude!

    I love how he documents how each session makes him feel. I think Count Rugen would enjoy his pain journal.

    Zee would probably look at Count Rugen’s Pit of Despair and think it’s a nice place for him to relax after a workout!