Jesse Lumsden is driving toward a return to the football field.
On the bobsled track.
And, at least for a few hours on Friday at Springbank Links, on the golf course.
“It’s still a long ways away before I can actually get on the football field,” Lumsden said.
“But even a day like today was a good test for me. To come out and play 18 holes, walk around a bit and feel good afterwards, that’s a good sign. A month ago, my knee would be swollen and it would be sore and I’d need to be icing it, and now I can just worry about home and getting a nap.
“As long as I continue to keep working forward and keep strengthening and keep pushing myself, there’s no reason (a return to football) shouldn’t happen.”
It’s not unusual to spot Lumsden at Henry Burris’ annual all-star charity weekend, a fundraiser for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Calgary and Area.
As the two-sport star pointed out after Friday’s golf tournament, though, “this is the first time I’ve been here as a Stampeder.”
And he wants to stay a Stampeder.
A broad-shouldered running back whose gridiron career has been plagued by injuries, Lumsden signed with the Red & White last September but suffered torn ligaments in his third appearance with his new team.
The 28-year-old had reconstructive surgery in late December, and although he’s hesitant to put a timeline on his potential return, he obviously isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet.
“I love football. I really do,” Lumsden said. “I’m really, really fortunate to have two sports in my life that I care about a lot and work really hard at. But football? Shoot, it gives me goosebumps still thinking about getting on the field.”
In the meantime, he’s also learning to pilot a bobsled, trying to advance in a sport he gravitated to while recovering from a shoulder injury sustained on the football field in 2009. Lumsden served as a bobsled brakeman at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, finishing fifth in both the two- and four-man events with Edmonton’s Pierre Lueders at the controls.
Although Lumsden hasn’t been able to push the sled during his recovery from knee surgery, he’s pretty excited about his future on the icy track, too.
Which begs the question, is he more effective driving a bobsled or a Titleist?
“Off the tee, I was pretty good today,” he grinned after Friday’s tournament. “But I finished off pretty strong in Lake Placid, too. It was the last Americas Cup race and I was just sitting in the sled, so only one guy pushing, and it was my very first race and we drew 19th out of 22 sleds, but we moved past some people. We finished 15th overall and we had the 12th-fastest run on the second one, so I was really happy with that performance.
“It was great to cap off the season like that.”
Sounds like he’s not ready to cap his gridiron career just yet, either.