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The Off-Season Training...

While the pain of the Bronco’s playoff defeat of the Steelers and the 316 passing yards attributed to the oft maligned arm of Tim Tebow have begun to fade, the true agony begins this Sunday evening when the winner of Super Bowl XLVI declares they are “Going To Disney World” and my beloved football disappears from the airwaves for six months. With the Pro Bowl being moved to the week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, I don’t even have that contrived and somewhat silly game to stave off my annual depression. I think it is no coincidence that this is the time of year when people are beset with symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is attributed, in part, to long winter nights and lack of sunlight. Although, I have no formal medical training, (however, I did stay at Nemacolin Woodlands last night) I would argue that lack of football might actually be to blame for this seasonal malady. One of the best known treatments for the disorder is light therapy where a patient sits a few feet away from a bright light for 30 minutes or more. This leads me to believe that a more effective solution might lie in the hands of Roger Goodell…extend the NFL season for a month or so. I personally have been known to sit for hours just inches away from a box emitting bright lights, flashing colors and uplifting music as I cheer on my beloved Steelers or delight in the defeat of the loathed Patriots. Doctors also recommend that affected patients keep socially active. What could be more social than gathering with friends, even enemies, for some adult beverages and animated if not boisterous communication? Unfortunately, until I complete the necessary research to present to the commissioner, I, along with millions of others will have to suffer through yet another winter of empty Sundays. Yes, there is the Professional Bowlers Association, the West Coast swing for the PGA and the Pittsburgh Power Arena League team but for the most part, I have resigned myself to tucking away my Hines Ward jersey, folding up my Terrible Towel and using my foam finger as packing material to cradle my treasured ceramic football, the serving dish of choice for chips of every flavor.

In my effort to improve my general health and well-being…Resolution number 1 in 08, 09, 10, 11 and 12…I have pledged to be more active during this year’s off-season so as to be in the best possible shape when training camp opens in July. What better place than Nemacolin Woodlands to prepare for the rigors of football in 2012? For starters, I plan to spend next Sunday afternoon at the Field Club shooting sporting clays. You might ask how that particular activity could possibly better my skills for next season. It’s as simple as these three words…Hand -Eye Coordination. Shooting those clays, some soaring, some rolling takes incredible precision. One must pull the trigger with perfect timing. Imagine how this exercise might fine tune my remote control skills for viewing in the fall, flying fearlessly through commercials, switching effortlessly between games and muting Tony Siragusa before one syllable escapes his lips.

On the following weekend, I have made an appointment at the Woodlands Spa to meet with a personal trainer. One would most likely assume that I will be working with weights to bolster my strength and endurance for the rigors of the gridiron, but it’s flexibility that I feel will be the key to next season’s success. Flexibility to wave that Terrible Towel for hours on end taking care not to injure those around me and lest we forget, just how limber one needs to be in the repetitive retrieval of cheese puffs, peanut shells and other snack foods from the carpet and hardwood below.

Week three, you can find me at The WildSide for intense viewing training…and I mean intense. For those of us who refuse to let our viewing skills be weakened during the winter months, there’s no other option but to watch everything and anything we can, preferably all at once. With more than twenty flat screen televisions in nearly every corner of the building, The WildSide will provide enough programming and sports to experience the sensory overload, constantly changing content and noise that define my world each season.

The fourth Sunday, post-football, will have me at Mystic Mountain, Nemacolin’s outdoor adventure center. Now, please don’t think that I would risk injury by actually venturing out on the slopes. I am spending the afternoon at the Hitchin’ Post Saloon safely ensconced on a perfectly sturdy bar stool. This final week of training will be dedicated to the world of food and beverage. There is nothing more embarrassing than beginning a new football season horribly out of shape. Imagine sitting down for the first game in September with the realistic goal of devouring a full dozen wings and two frosty drafts before halftime. None of us wants to disappoint our fans and I would be remiss if I didn’t do all that I could to ensure success in consumption for 2012.

Some may be surprised that I am so adamant about the off-season amidst rumors of my retirement. I assure you that they are nothing but rumors. As long as I have the strength to haul the tailgate supplies to the car and the vision to change the batteries in the remote, I will carry on. I know that this training regimen may seem quite aggressive to others who have relegated their upcoming Sundays to reading or crafting or resting but for those of us who take our football seriously, this is what we do. We put the past behind us, shop for team apparel on clearance racks and look ahead to the glory of the fall when our weekends and worlds are all about the GAME.

Zelma Kassimer
Director of Marketing
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort


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