As a kid, my parents put me in every after-school activity possible. From dance classes to piano lessons, I was given the chance to try out anything and everything that was offered. Looking back, I couldn’t be more grateful to my parents for providing me with these opportunities.
Out of all of the activities that I tried, hockey was the one that stuck. This came as no surprise to anyone because my family is what you would call a “hockey family” – my mom, my dad, my older sister, and my younger brother are just as passionate about the game as I am. Hockey is our thing.
From the age of three, I played on numerous house league teams season after season. I have vivid memories of my dad (a.k.a. my coach) accompanying me to 6 am practices, a large coffee in his hand and a chocolate glazed donut in mine.
When I was ten, I was fortunate enough to make it onto a rep team. I couldn’t have been more excited – this meant I would be on the ice for practices and games at least four times a week. Hockey became my entire life. This rep team was the first of many I would play on until the end of my minor league hockey career (a.k.a. the end of high school).
As a student at Queen’s, hockey still remains an important part of my life. I am currently playing in an intramural league with an incredible group of girls. The games we play each week are reminiscent of my days spent at the rink as a child. I feel so lucky that I can continue to foster my love for hockey while at university.
No matter what level I play at or what team I play on, one thing about hockey always remains the same: the life lessons. While hockey taught me how to skate, pass and shoot, it was the non-athletic lessons it gave me that will always stay with me. Here are a few of them:
The Importance of Family
For me, hockey equals family. By the end of each season, my teammates turn into my sisters. I’ve made some of my best friends through hockey. After spending so much time playing with a group of people and working towards a common goal, everyone becomes unbelievably close. Just like my family, I can count on my teammates for anything, no matter what.
The Value of Respect
In hockey, players must have respect for their teammates, coaches, opponents, and referees. This respect often translates into real life and shows players just how far a little respect can go. Hockey drove me to evaluate my respect towards every aspect of my life and this is a lesson I continue to use in my daily life.
The Power of Hard Work
Hockey wasn’t always easy – it often pushed my limits, both physically and mentally. However, it was through this push that I learned just how powerful hard work can be. No matter who you are or what you do, as long as you work hard and try your best, you will be successful. This lesson has helped me get through countless hurdles, both in hockey and in life.
Ultimately, I would not be the person I am today without hockey and I will be forever grateful for everything the sport has taught me.