MOUNT VERNON — The daily workouts of an NHL hockey player are, in a word, grueling.
In order to last an entire game, players have to endure the most strenuous workout in pro sports. Their conditioning is second to none. It has to be; few sports call for such power, decision-making and precision, all while going full-speed.
But can just anyone follow such a workout regimen?
That’s what an Apple Valley woman is trying to find out.
Mary O’Malley has been a Columbus Blue Jackets fan since their inception in 2001. So much so, in fact, that she’s willing to go through the training that the players go through.
“I want to be in better shape,” O’Malley said. “But really, it’s all about the experience.”
O’Malley says the idea came to her when she saw an interview on television.
“Marc Methot is my favorite player,” O’Malley said. “He talked about how someone followed him around, to see what he did during the offseason. I was intrigued.”
O’Malley says Methot talked about the intense workouts in the gym. Surprisingly, very few of them were actually on the ice. Instead, they involve agility, cardio and strengthening core muscles.
The Apple Valley native says her family was skeptical at first.
“My kids are my biggest fans,” O’Malley said. “But they were, ‘You’re not a very good skater. What are you going to do?’”
O’Malley — who attends a handful of games a year, and writes for a Columbus Blue Jackets blog, FanSided.com — contacted a number of trainers, hoping someone would let her try the same workouts. One responded almost immediately.
Jeremy Weaver saw potential in O’Malley.
“She wasn’t an athlete,” Weaver said upon their meeting. “But she knew what she wanted to do.”
Weaver operates Dynamic Performance Fitness, a fitness club based in Mount Vernon. A former pro athlete himself — spending time with the Marion Mayhem in Arena Football — Weaver understood what it took to play at the professional level. He also knew that an NHL-style workout is unlike anything else in sports.