[Daily Impact #17] “Justin vs Time…”

It was midway through the second period.

Team Voigt had their best on the ice, trying to score their first goal in a 2-0 game.

They had plenty of chances throughout the game, but we were playing good defense and I was turning away shot after shot.

On this scoring chance, they had 3 players down low around the crease.

The shot came in through traffic to my right, I dropped into Butterfly to stop the shot.

The puck rebounded to an opposing player who quickly got off a shot to my left.

A quick adjustment and that was turned away.

Yet again, the puck found its way to an opponent’s stick.

The short came in hard, but I saw it the whole time and reacted accordingly, turning away yet another shot.

I heard someone yell, “Will you just let something in!”

Another shot, this time it found its way through my 5-hole.

I quickly closed my feet behind me and fell backwards, freezing the puck under me and forcing a whistle to stop play.

4 shots, all in the span of about 3-4 seconds, and all turned away or blocked.

A few years ago, when I was nearly 200 pounds and out of shape, I would not have had the reflexes or endurance to withstand that barrage without letting one by me.

Granted, every day I play a game of Justin vs Time when it comes to athletics.

Age has a way of catching up to all of us eventually.

Someday I won’t have the reflexes to react to the puck or the vision to track the puck so I can make the save, but finding my way back onto the ‘Fitness Train’ has helped me slow down Father Time, so that I can continue to play competitively with ‘kids’ 10-20+ years younger than me.

Sure there are benefits to losing weight, and strengthening your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems; such as decreasing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and stroke…just to name a few.

But the primary reason I made fitness a cornerstone of my life again is so that I can continue to participate in the activities that I love, such as hockey, and play at a level that satisfies the competitive spirit within me.

In my mind, I am still that 20-something athlete with Olympic dreams, and I’ll be damned if I am going to let my body tell me something different.

I have mountains in my life I am looking to climb, both literally and figuratively, and a commitment to fitness empowers me push forward towards achieving those goals with a strength and confidence I otherwise would not have.

One of those goals is to be standing between ‘The Pipes’ when I am 70, watching my boys come at me with the puck, and turning away the best that they can throw at me.

I’m not going to get there sitting on my ass, drinking beer, and watching Netflix all day.
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