The Grind, Part 2: Pain and Education

Well, my training has begun, and it is miserable.

Having taken several weeks off from training, and having not lifted to build muscle since February, my body wasn’t happy getting back into it. The offseason is used to build muscle, because you can lift heavy and not worry about having to play. But during the season, it’s important to be at your best for the games, so you can’t train the same. In-season training is more focused on maintenance, and thus it is much much easier compared to the offseason.

So basically, my body is in complete shock. I’m trying to gain as much strength as possible, so we are hypertrophying the muscles — basically, getting as big as possible — which mean heavy lifts and long sets. And that, in turn, means long days and really sore muscles.

This is just the beginning of the price I need to pay to become something better than what I currently am. For the record, what I am now is currently unemployed and unwanted as a pitcher. If I don’t become something better, my career might be over. The way I see it, I don’t have a choice. I love this game too much to walk away and be satisfied. I want to find every possible way to continue to play this game (without PEDs, of course — I’ve made my feelings clear on that subject) and I fully believe that if I transform myself, it will be the edge I need. Many guys say they want to get better, and many guys say they will do anything. But talking and wishing are nowhere near the sacrifice it takes to truly make that change. Im willing to drive myself through the ground for the game I love, and I’m planning on finding out what the dirt tastes like.

Credit: Twitter @toeingtherubber

Credit: Twitter @toeingtherubber

While this week marked the beginning of my offseason workouts, I also took a big step in my post-career plans. I attended the SaberSeminar in Boston this weekend, and it was eye-opening. Mike Ferrin had told me about the seminar — he was the MC of the event, which raised money for the Jimmy Fund. Mike and I talked about my aspirations to be in a front office and player development one day, and he thought this would be a great place to meet the right people and open my mind to what people are doing with sabermetrics. It was really cool to hear all the different ways people are evaluating and looking at baseball. I heard some great presentations from people like Dr. Mike Reinold of Champion Physical Therapy and Performance on the dangers on weighted ball programs, to Allison Levin talking about the analytics of Twitter usage by teams. I got to see how organizations take statistics and use them to evaluate players. Most importantly, I got to speak to players like Brian Bannister and John Baker and find out how they transitioned to the front office after retiring and what teams look for in future hires.

Overall, this week was educating on many levels. I began my offseason training and really took a huge step for my post-career aspirations. But let’s looks where I am for the offseason:

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