Getting close to the finish line…

We are just over half way through my Summer break at home in Canada. I have mostly been training, skating and and working. I physically could not be feeling better at this point in my recovery. Obviously, after two relatively extensive surgeries, I have had some minor setbacks, but nothing that says I can’t come back better than ever. The best news is that I am on track to be playing hockey pain free, something that I always feared after the surgeries, would never happen again.

As things slowly start to get back to “normal” with my body, I can say I’m beyond humbled and grateful for the whole process. I think the past year has allowed me to grow in ways that never would have happened without the injuries. All around, I am a stronger, better me (with improved hip joints too). My favorite part of this whole journey was working with my Surgeon, Athletic Therapists, Goalie Coach, Strength Coaches and Parents to get better everyday. Each little step forward made me feel like a kid again, always coming home at night excited to be like “mom and dad look at me, I skated!!” or “I squatted for the first time today.” I literally come home from the gym everyday and make my dad feel my leg muscles. Although nothing about the last year was easy, it was a challenge and I love challenges.

I have been working out at Twist Conditioning in Whitby and I could not be more thrilled with my choice to join the Twist Family this Summer. I have made gains as an athlete and person that I would have never made on my own. My Strength coach Steve has given me every opportunity to get better everyday. He pushes my workout partner Lisa and I day in, day out. In all honesty, I really look up to him and it’s easy to work hard when you’re training under the wings of someone like him. Not only is he a stellar coach, he is an even better human being. So far this summer, my biggest personal records have been Hip Thrusting 355lbs, squatting 200lbs and actually being able to run again without feeling like I’m going to pass out… Haha.

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Hip thrusting 355lbs

For physical therapy, I work with Matthew Leech, who is also the Athletic Therapist for the Oshawa Generals, he has done an outstanding job to make sure I am progressing at the right speed. He is also a pretty awesome boss… (I am a receptionist at his clinic).

For on ice training I have been working with my goalie coach of six years, Sandy Sampson. It is safe to say all the conditioning I missed through a year of not playing, I got back in at most three sessions with Sandy. I am so fortunate that he has taken the time to catch me up on all the goalie changes in the hockey world in the last year (which is actually a lot).

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First full gear ice session since February 28, 2015

Last but surely not least, my parents. I do not know what I would do without the love and support of my parents. Although I glorify the days where I come home happy after a workout, there have been days where I come home completely miserable because I am scared I tweaked something or because I didn’t set a new PB. They are there to constantly remind me that I am only 1 year out of surgery on one hip, and 7 months on the other. I really appreciate how giving they have been my whole life, especially in the last year with all of the dedication they have put in to my recovery. The first hockey game I play in 2016 will be for them. For everyone who has supported me along the way.

Well that’s about all that’s new with me right now. I am so excited to get back to Columbus to kick off the 2016-2017 season with my Buckeyes. My teammates have been a huge support through this process so now it is time for me to give back to them. I’m so very fortunate to have all the people I have in my life.

“Hard times will always reveal true friends” – isn’t that the truth.

As always, go bucks.

Kassidy

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