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Rolfing Gordie And Mark Howe

from Karrie Osborn at Massage & Bodywork,

The body of the 84-year-old client on Robert Toporek’s table shows years of abuse. A once-fractured skull, uncountable broken ribs that healed with time and tape, and the remnants of 500 facial stitches have all left their mark. Yet, the client never complains; he would say these injuries—and the many more he endured over the course of his 32-year career—came part and parcel with his job. 

 The client is hockey legend Gordie Howe, otherwise known as Mr. Hockey. At his side is his son Mark, a hockey Hall of Famer in his own right who often speaks on his father’s behalf as age takes its toll. Helping put that body back together is Toporek, a Philadelphia bodyworker who has been Rolfing clients since 1975.

At the determined request of Mark, Gordie started coming to see Toporek for Rolfing sessions earlier this year. The father and son team made the nearly three-hour round-trip drive from New Jersey to Philadelphia every week, as Gordie progressed through his 10-session Rolfing protocol.

For those who don’t know hockey lore, it’s important to understand the brutality of the sport, especially in the early years of Gordie’s career. Equipment and protection were archaic compared to today’s gear, and the sport itself was, as it remains today, inherently vicious on the body. Lore would also tell us that Gordie has been the icon of the sport for more than six decades, and many today still crown him the best hockey player of all time. Gordie has been dealt more soft-tissue injuries than most therapists see in a lifetime of clients. Daily poundings and slams, or checks into the boards, as a professional hockey player took their toll. Learning to live with the pain by compensating for it certainly caused even more. 

Gordie didn’t complain about the abuse his body took all those years while he was on the ice, and he doesn’t complain today about the aftermath of that abuse.

read on and watch a short video on Rolfing below featuring both Mark and Gordie Howe...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gordie+howe, mark+howe

Video- Mark Howe Finally Responds To His Dad’s Request

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All Mark Howe

Randy Miller of Flyer Files at the Courier Post has a great interview with Mark Howe.

Some of you may know Gordie Howe is my idol and sometimes I have to understand Gordie is no longer in the prime of his life and is now 83 years of age.

Q: How is Gordie now?

Howe: “The last couple of years we’ve taken Dad out of the home to be with the four children. We all kind of take turns having dad go here and there, but we enjoy having his company. We found that Dad does his best when he’s out in the public and interacting with people, so we try to keep him out there, but also give him some rest. And in the course of that, Marty books some fishing trips that he and dad can enjoy, and if it’s in the summer time, then I get to enjoy. Marty has done an outstanding job helping dad with
everything that he needs.”

Q: Seeing some of Gordie’s interviews, he seems sharp at age 83, but I’m sure it’s tough on him with your mother (Coleen Howe, aka Mrs. Hockey) passing away in March 2009.

Howe: “I think Dad’s doing really well. I try to work out a good four days a week and two or three times dad will go with me. I’ll kind of do a run/walk thing and it’s pretty easy for him to walk 3-4 miles. He does that very well for 83. He’s got his aches and pains from playing, but he is still a strong human being. As far as dad’s health, physically he’s doing great. He has trouble with his short-term memory, especially when he’s tired

much more

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Dreams Do Come True

from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,

“I spent my whole life dreaming of being a hockey player,” said Mark Howe, who had 197 goals and 742 points in 929 NHL games to go with his WHA totals of 208 goals and 504 points in 426 games.

“You dream of winning Stanley Cups. Something I never dreamed about is getting into the hall of fame.”

He might not have dreamed of it, but his father certainly did.

“I think it obviously means more to him,” Mark Howe said. “Anyone that has children understands.

“Anything my children achieve means far more to me than anything I’ve done in my life. He doesn’t have to say that. I know exactly how he feels.”

Mark Howe said at least 40 members of family and friends will be in attendance at Monday’s ceremony.

read on

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Evening Line

“The only thing I could regret is after retiring, Dad said ‘why didn’t you take my number out of the rafters and wear it for one game?’ Had he asked, I would have, because otherwise I’d have never thought of doing it.”

-Mark Howe as he prepares to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame.  More from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun.

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A Pretty Special Life

from John McGourty of NHL.com,

“This has been a pretty special life for all of us,” Mark said about himself, his brothers Murray and Marty, and sister Cathy. “Gordie says the only way he can give back to the game is to make himself available to the people who keep our sport alive. I don’t think there’s ever been an athlete who is more accessible to the fans. That’s his most enduring quality, the way he is with people. It’s not a phony thing—it’s all natural. He loves to be around people.

“I’ve noticed that after people meet my dad, they never talk about the hockey player, they talk about Gordie the person that they met.”

more

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Memories of the Spectrum

Mark Howe remembers his times in Philadelphia (as told to Bill Meltzer) at Philadelphia Flyers.com:

I was fortunate to play 22 years of pro hockey. My ten years with the Flyers were some of the happiest times of my life. I always associate good times with winning teams, and we did a lot of winning in Philadelphia and had a quality group of guys off the ice.

In terms of Spectrum memories, to be honest, I don’t really have very many of the place itself. What the arena really represents to me are the people I saw there.

continued…

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Is It Entertaining Us

from Wayne Fish of Philly Burbs,

Former Flyers player Mark Howe, now a scout with the Detroit Red Wings, sees about 100 NHL games per year.

He says he’s sat through some real yawners these past couple seasons and yearns for the days when hockey still offered robust competition.

“I do watch a lot of games where both teams are working, both teams are playing very sound hockey, but is the game entertaining for the people who paid their money?” Howe said. “In my opinion, no.’‘...

“I know some teams, their goal is to block 20, 25 shots a night. You didn’t see that years ago. You forechecked two guys to get pressure. I like watching Andy Murray’s teams (currently St. Louis) ... they play a high-pressure game. Tampa’s an entertaining team; same with Edmonton.’‘

Howe says you don’t have to have high scoring for an entertaining game.

more

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