US Mens No Off Days Team Blog Christian Linney

April 02, 2014, 3:22 p.m. (ET)

US Men’s #NoOffDays Team Blog: Christian Linney

– 2nd April 2014
   Present coordinates – 43.7112 N 5.4688 E
   Location - Hameau de Chateau Val Joanis, Luberon Region France

   i) Maintain USA field hockey #NoOffDays training schedule
   ii) Prepare for relocation to Woodbury University, Rome Campus for 1 year studying 4th year Architecture
   iii) Join and play premier Series A for Roma Hockey Club

I have taken a little time off of school and training with the Centralized Training Program to refocus my efforts toward team goals and my academic ambitions. Growing up cross culturally, life can get complicated if you let it. I see athletics and sport as an international language that has always managed to simplify my progress.

Hockey has been in my life since I could hold a hockey twig, and in my experience, the global hockey family of players, parents, coaches, organizers, etc., make it a lot easier to put in the hard team training that is required. Knowing a supportive system is there is key to success.

Being a remote player I have been keeping up with the conditioning and #NoOffDays mentality on my own. Going through the motions of our strength and conditioning routine set by Pete Gorka, which seems to revolve predominantly around DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). This makes it unbearably painful to actually sit around and do nothing the following day. So in response to this, I have adopted a solid circuit to run around the grounds when the DOMS strike.

The Circuit: (quite literally a mountain) 

After you run through the front gates of the Hameau, there is a left turn to the first ascent up through the trees and along to the first ridge. There are 3 levels to the climb, on stone and gravel roadways taking you across to the forest hillsides and along through to the wooded areas. Then, one leg-breaking climb up to the highest elevation, leveling out at the top and then descending back down. You emerge from the bottom behind the chateau, passing by the olive groves and the winery, then there is an undulating 2 kilometer run back along to the first ascent.

All in all, it’s a solid little run that goes along with the prescribed conditioning. Granted, it may sound a little rugged at times, but when your beard is coming along nicely and the DOMS are subsiding it sort of fits. 

I go twice around, staying within the estate because wild boars roam the forests around us. I have been scouting out trees to climb just in case I run into one. Just joking, I carry a machete on me at all times, wild boar is a delicacy.

My Dad gets out and stretches the legs with me as well until he gets to the first assent, then drops back. I hear more than a few expletives coming from behind but they disappear as I push on. We both know our way, so I take a longer route and we end up meeting at the start of the 2 kilometer undulating run back along to start the second circuit. 

The sun gets warmer as the run/jog goes on, I make my way along to start the second circuit, Dad cuts some corners, ok a lot of corners, taking shortcuts across the vines to catch up, I begin to express myself thoroughly. 

Arriving at the first assent again, I prefer not to look up at this gargantuan slope, so I just keep my head down and my body in balance using my core strength to wrestle up it. Again my Dad expresses himself freely as his wrestle turns into a struggle/crawl, got to give him points for trying. We separate until we meet back along the 2-kilometer section. At this point I think my Dad is just enjoying the scenery and sunshine. 

We eventually meet back up at Hameau; I continue with a passive recovery, fluids intake, a little resistance training, and a swim for 30 minutes to cool off. I then begin preparation for the next day’s sprints, which usually consists of feasting on whatever I can get my hands on. 

Running through the motions and keeping the dream alive one day at a time, see you in the summer USA.

 - Linney #16

For more videos, blog posts and contest information, visit the #NoOffDays page!