Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hockey Yoga

This whole situation with the Bruins—a conflicted GM, the draft and trade options, the head coach flapping in the Boston breeze—has got me stressed out. Unresolved issues and projects of any kind—even dirty dishes in the sink—can annoy me if I let them.

So early yesterday morning, I performed my daily yoga moves to stretch my body and soothe my soul. After a bowl of Optimum Zen cereal and then a power shower, I wrote in my journal about the things that cluttered my mind. Goodbye stress.

Hello donuts. The AMHL photographer and I embarked upon our weekly pilgrimage for our Saturday splurge: our favorite Dunkin’ Donuts, where I ordered a medium coffee and two donuts (Chocolate Frosted and Vanilla Frosted). Sitting in our favorite spot, a corner table, my wife opened the Boston Globe to the sports section. The complexity and dubious nature of the Bruins’ plan to rebound from a disappointing season overwhelmed me again. Combined with the caffeine and sugar rush, reading the articles mad my blood pressure rise faster than you can say, “We lost another shootout!”

Deep breaths.

On our drive to the mall, we listened to the Mustard and Johnson show on WEEI. More Bruins bashing caused my pulse to quicken, so the AMHL photographer stopped by the place we had moved from in late May to see if my former neighbor and hockey counselor was available for a quick session. The Rick, who was out walking his dog in the rain, was happy to see me. As the drizzle dropped on the umbrella he shared with me, we calmly discussed the Bruins’ dilemma, calmly.

Bruins' management has a perception problem. Most longtime Bruins’ fans perceive the B’s brass to be cheap and close-minded—not doling out big money to more players who could bring home the Cup and preferring to promote from within when presumably better coaching candidates are available outside the organization. So, in an effort to rectify this problem and to win back fans, the Bruins have gone out a limb by examining their internal processes, how they deal with the media, and how they hire a coach.

This process is painful to watch because it has become more complicated and prolonged than at least soon-to-be GM Peter Chiarelli and current coach Mike Sullivan expected. But I felt better after dumping my thoughts on my buddy Rick.

Session completed, my wife and I drove to the mall. After browsing the exercise section at Target, I decided I didn’t need to add a Pilates Ball or more dumbbells to my yoga regiment. At the Borders bookstore, I surveyed the sports and fitness section. I scanned the shelves for a yoga book that might illustrate new power moves. I selected Yoga for Idiots (duh, or Dummies, I can’t remember)

Flipping through the pages, I saw many poses I already use. As I was about to close the book and put it back on the shelf, I noticed these words: the skater. Now that’s a pose that will help my hockey game. I’m sure of it—until I turn the page and read something not about a yoga position Jaromir Jagr or Jussi Markkannen might use—but rather one Michelle Kwan might try.

I didn’t buy the book but the next time thoughts of the Bruins get me all worked up, I’m going to try the move anyway.
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