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GongShow 02-26-2018 08:30 PM

Ice Hockey- for real?
Hey- I’m a newby trying to build my endurance. Being from Canada, I played a lot of ice hockey growing up and as I got older. Diagnosed in 2009, I’ve taken a layoff for a few years, but I was DETERMINED to play again. I went out for a couple of skates, and it was rough. I couldn’t sustain effort in my legs and would lose my balance. So I tried jogging and cardio to somehow get my legs back, but could only could get to about 5min of sustained effort before my feet started tripping over themselves.

I guess my question is, understanding that things have changed big time, how can i improve the endurance in my legs for longer sustained activity, and also improve my balance? Is this a pipe dream? I just want to push things for as long as I can, and not give up or throw in the towel!

cl3me 02-27-2018 02:23 PM

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I went skating for first time in 5 years this winter, forgot how much I love skating. It went better than I thought it would, with last relapse in 2016 now have issues with reflexes and sensation in both feet. Despite that even did 10km on the river trail here in Winnipeg, at my own pace, with rests at the warming huts along the trail. I didn't dare try backwards or crosscuts though lol.

I grew up playing ringette and soccer, even continued through university and played in rec leagues after uni, gave up both after diagnosis, although I did try to continue soccer, but it was the blindness in my left eye that put me on the sidelines as I wasn't seeing other players until too late, some bad collisions....tried playing in goal, but took the ball in the face because lack of depth I focused instead on individual activities....walking the dog, cycling, horseback riding, kayaking and have built up fitness and endurance that way.

Don't count out hockey yet....definitely possible to build up endurance and fitness...after every relapse I start back with walking the dog and keep adding distance, then add in bike and horse riding, and kayaking. winters I try to get in some time at the gym on the elliptical, but never quite stick to a good schedule. With all my MS issues, I don't have the coordination and vision to play team sports anymore (3.5 on the EDSS), but am able to build up the endurance and fitness to do the local MS Bike, Pain in the Assiniboine urban adventure race (bike and kayak), ride my horse on 3hr trail rides (I used to compete in para dressage with him but he's retired from competition now), and stay more active than many "healthy" people.

Keep at it. When I first got back into riding horses, I had to elastic my foot to the stirrup to keep from losing it and falling off, through persistence I no longer need to use the elastic even though the numbness and coordination issues remain. Built new muscle memory? not sure, but by persisting I am now able to continue riding and enjoying my childhood passion for horses. I am also convinced that it has helped me with my balance....

GongShow 02-27-2018 11:18 PM

Thatís awesome- thanks! Feels so good to continue doing something you love. To hell with MS- we canít let it define us!
Can I ask how you managed to build your strength and endurance, was it just slow steps and building up? I canít sustain any longer than 2 min of jogging before my feet start tripping over themselves. Had a couple embarrassing moments on treadmill...

cl3me 02-28-2018 10:40 AM

I find I can only jog on treadmill for short periods as well, haven't actually fallen but sure don't feel steady on my feet. I only walk on the treadmill now, I put the incline up to add intensity/effort. Physiotherapist also recommended that to help strengthen and reduce foot drop.

At the gym I prefer the elliptical as it supports my feet and I can relax and not worry about tripping and falling like I do when on the treadmill. I use the "interval" pre-set program. I like that it gets the arms moving too, so that why I prefer elliptical to the stationary bike.

It's a slow build to get the endurance up. Unfortunately fatigue and weakness makes the process slower, and I find I need more recovery time.

Veronica 02-28-2018 04:42 PM

Hey GongShow, Yeah, as cl3me states, you CAN improve your strength and endurance. It is a slow process, and but you can get stronger. Iíd suggest you read through so much on this thread regarding exercising with MS, starting with Herbís article recently posted by Dave.

A lot of us have had success with incremental work. What works for me is following the protocol for NOT going until ďfailureĒ all the time, but just until you start to lose form. Then stop, recover, and go again, same small increments and again just until you cannot maintain good posture, form, whatever.

I am not a skater at all, let alone one who did any ice hockey, but I wonder if you could do the same on ice. I would suggest you connect with a PT knowledgeable in MS for guidance.

Now, is your goal to play hockey as you did before, or to get back on the ice? I may be overstepping here, and I apologize if I am, but I learned a very freeing lesson when I was able to answer the questions: ď What do I want, to bike as I did, or to keep cycling?Ē Same for my skiingÖĒski as I did, or keep having fun on the slopesĒ. Knowing that getting out there was my answer helped me adjust to all the adaptive equipment I use now. So ,if your answer is to literally get back on the ice, you may want to check out sled hockey, while you see how much strength, balance and endurance you can get back. Certainly would give you a great cardio workout! You probably know of it, but if you havenít tried it, I can tell you from experience it is one heck of a workout, not for wimps ( that would be meÖ), very aggressive, and just SO MUCH FUNÖ. Good adrenaline rush!! Just a thought....

Good luck, and I look forward to hearing of your journey!!

GongShow 02-28-2018 06:09 PM

All good replies. Itís silly of me to think I can play like I was when I was 20. Let alone a diagnosis of MS. I think the goal for me is just to get out there and enjoy the game again. But I think itís really going to start in the gym. Lifting weights and strength is not an issue- cardio, running and movement is...iím Going to do my homework and try to build it back...looking for some workout programs on here that will help me do that!

ActiveMSers 03-01-2018 12:35 PM

Veronica said what I was going to say. I didn't "bike" for years because I was stubborn and wanted to do what I had always doneóride on two wheels. And I effectively wasted a few years of fun. My trikes have meant freedom, and I should have migrated to them earlier.

My advice, find an adaptive program in your area for sledge (or sled) hockey. Try it, then keep trying it. And keep building up your strength and endurance at the gym. You may be able to continue to skate on wonky legs using short shifts and sticking close to the boards, but I'm not sure that is going to give you the same sense of ultimate satisfaction that you are looking for.

GongShow 03-01-2018 05:47 PM

Thanks-another big issue is balance-any good programs to try at home or gym to improve it?

cl3me 03-01-2018 07:57 PM

Things I have done to help with balance (in addition to horseback riding)

Wii Fit Plus, if you donít have Wii they are cheap find on Kijiji, using the balance board is a must to get full benefit. There are balance specific exercises. And you can track results. Celebrate the little victories! There are even some small studies to support it

A physiotherapist gave me a bunch of exercises using bosu, luckily gym has one, and a bunch of single leg raise type exercises. Always next to wall in case have to reach out to support myself. Or a sturdy chair.

I also find yoga helpful for balance and coordination, the whole mind body connection thing is a key component to balance. ( Good reminder to myself I have let my yoga practice slide, which explains some of the tightness Iíve been feeling lately!)

These are some of the things I always go back to after a relapse and am getting back on track...and what has allowed me to get back in the saddle.

GongShow 03-07-2018 08:50 AM

Never thought of the Wii! The kids have 2 of those boards they donít use anymore! So what is the exact program and any experiences of MSers who have used it?

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