June 25, 2020

Player Blog: Hergy Mayala

CALGARY, AB - AUGUST 3, 2019: The Calgary Stampeders won 24-18 against the Edmonton Eskimos at McMahon Stadium on Saturday night. (Photo by David Moll/Calgary Stampeders)

After my first year, this off-season I worked really hard to show that I had more in me in year two.

So it’s been really tough. Training and staying in shape has been a lot different this year. Whenever the facility closed, the gyms also closed. It was a time where you had to be creative, trying to do whatever you could to stay in shape.

Over time, it became very natural using the environment. As the days went by I found different things to do to keep up and stay in shape. For me it was really just running outside, doing jumping jacks and all that stuff you learn when you’re young. When we had the chance, we created a little gym in Colton Hunchak’s garage with the weights we had, we just went in there and did what we could.

It’s been great having Colton and Andres Salgado in Calgary with me this off-season. We all play the same position and we’re all around the same age. You feel that you’re working towards the same thing and guys that can understand your limits, too. Even though the off-season has been a different experience, it’s been great.

Staying mentally strong was the biggest challenge – I think that was the hardest thing. After a month-and- a-half you start wondering ‘what am I really training for? Is there actually going to a season?’ After a while you kind of get down on yourself. But we just all put ourselves in the mindset that we’re not training for football anymore, we’re training for life. We’re trying to stay healthy, and if there is a season, thank God. If there’s not, we can still benefit from it.

And now we’re allowed back at McMahon Stadium for training. Going in there the first time, it felt like Christmas – it felt like a big gift. Once something is taken away from you and you get it back it’s a great feeling, you understand how important it is.

There’s less guys there, but that’s the only difference you really notice. As for the working regime and what we do, it’s very similar but keeping that six-foot distance and washing our hands and gloves.