“I always love the feel of sweat on my shirt, Stand back son and let a man work.
Let a man work is that so wrong, I woke up this morning shackled and drawn…..”

Shackled and Drawn
Bruce Springsteen

Well, it is one week after Labor Day weekend. There is talk of an upcoming work stoppage in the world of hockey. Two national political conventions are now over and the focal point of both was work (or the lack thereof). A friend of mine emailed me asking about my break from writing my blog. He told me to get back to work. So what better theme to ramble on about than work?

Believe me, doing my blog does not feel like work. It is far from it!
But as we get older the lines get a little blurred between what is work and what we are doing that makes us feel good and proud of ourselves. The whole definition of work seems to change as time marches on.
I have had good jobs, I have had bad jobs.  I have worked with some good companies, worked with some not so good companies.  Sometimes it felt like I was working, sometimes it didn’t. There were times when I wasn’t working that it seemed like I was working my ass off to find work.  Recently in a mild mid- life crisis, I decided I would run a marathon this coming November. I was told the training was going to be a lot of work. An incredible amount of work. I am now working up to over 20 mile runs. But guess what? The work has morphed into love and passion. I can’t wait to workat it most mornings.

So then what really is work? Well I am sure everyone is entitled to feel any way they want about it or describe it as they choose.
I kind of look at it like this.

I work in order to be, not simply exist. To work is human. Work opens the door to the meaning of life and stops it from being boring and dull. Work is being creative.
I used to think work was a burden. Something I had to get through. Something I had to do for money or security.
If you feel that way you are missing the creative dynamic of work and how it can enable you to feel good about yourself. If we’re lucky enough, we try to shape our work to fit our lives……
Ok, that is deep enough. This is supposed to be a fun hockey blog. So how does all this relate to hockey? I’ll give it a try.

There was always times when I played during the season when the game felt like work. Boy was I wrong. It was challenging for sure but age has taught me that something you love doing that much should never be called work. I hope as parents and coaches we pass that along to our young players. They have their whole lives to figure out what they are going to do for work, AFTER they are done PLAYING.

Players are described as having incredible work ethics. Is it work ethic or do they just love being good, the feeling of getting better, and are willing to endure challenging times to achieve that feeling?

How many times after a hockey game have you seen a team win and the coach gets up in front of a microphone and blurts, “We deserved to win tonight, we outworked them…..” If you ask any pro player they will tell you it always feels more like fun than work when you win. The work feels like it comes during losing streaks…..
So here’s something for the young coaches out there, just a suggestion. Try encouraging your players “to out funthe other team tonight!” It’s worth a shot. It seemed to work with our mite team at times last year….

And one more thing on the topic…..

Let’s all pray that there won’t be a work….I mean a funstoppage in the NHL again this year…….

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