The second he walked in the door, I knew he needed a break. The stress of carrying a team into the playoffs was evident on his face. His eyes were a darker brown, almost black, indicating to me that he was deep in thought. The normal lines on his forehead were much more pronounced. He had bags under his eyes and his lips were pursed.
I’d seen him like this more often then I liked. Most of the time he would pull himself out of this funk with a few intense workout sessions at the gym. This week though, he spent the majority of his day at the rink. I didn’t have to guess what he was doing. I knew he would be skating extra laps, doubling his usual bike distance, and lifting weights until his arms screamed for oxygen. He always thought that if he put in longer hours then the rest of the guys it would magically fix their lackluster performance. I didn’t doubt that his teammates were giving it their all, I just knew he would equate their current slump to being his fault.