Thank you, Failure.

Dear Failure,

 

It is hard to accept sometimes when you give it your all and all that you have to show for it is an L in the win/loss column next to your teams name. And just like that, another season ends. That’s a very tough pill to swallow. 

 

UND 2 – OSU 1 (1st OT).

 

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Game winning (OT) goal

 

I post this picture because people always post the most glorious photosthe big saves, big goals, big blocks. Rarely, do individuals ever post pictures of themselves failing. This is me, failing to stop the overtime game winning goal! Maybe if I made that one savemaybe we win. I own this one. Strangely and understandably, people are fearful of failing but in my opinion, failure does not mean the effort wasn’t there, it simply means you fell short of your goal and have to readjust, learn. It’s a teaching point. I truly believe that people don’t reach their full potential until they fail, learn, try again and at times you will fail again and start the cycle all over again. They say it builds strength and character but at times, it would be nice if the road to success was a little smoother. When I look back at this picture I get a lump in my throat. Our season is over. I’m no longer a redshirt sophomore. Our freshmen are no longer freshmen. And our two seniors, Breanne Grant and Katie Matheny will never wear the Buckeyes jersey in intercollegiate competition again. Watching thtears, the hugs, talking about what could have been is not easy. A big part of me wishes I could have done more to prolong their careers. We battled with them and for them, more so when you understand the challenging careers these two have had. It would have been special to give them more. They deserved it. I am so thankful they chose to stick around when things got tough, that’s what warriors do. I will miss them.

It was a hard-fought battle! Even though we ended up on the short end of things, I will give our opponents, the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks, credit for the win. It was an entertaining series. They played hard as we did and it took three hard-fought games and over time to come up with a winner. The future looks bright but the present is still painful.

So failure, thank you. Thank you for the tears, the pain, the upset and the everlasting (not so good) memories. You will make me stronger and more willing to sacrifice everything to continue to get better. I’m excited to see where you push me next. 

 

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 “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past.You don’t try and forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash

 There will be plenty of pictures, like the ones above and moments like this in my future. You let them sting, but you don’t let them define you. You own the moment and you enjoy it for what it is, and then let go and start all over again.  

 Thank you failure, I’m sure we will meet again.

 Kass

But Who’s Counting

Five Hundred and Eighty One days [but who’s counting], that’s how long I had to sit tight until I was cleared to play my first collegiate hockey game after my bilateral surgery. It was well worth the wait, I will tell you that much.

“I’m not telling you it will be easy, I’m telling you it will be worth it”

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On September 30th, the Ohio State Buckeyes Women’s Ice Hockey team travelled to Troy, New York to compete against the RPI Engineers. We swept (winning 4-1 and 2-0). Not only was this a special moment for myself because it made the almost 2 year wait so much more significant, but it was a special moment for my teammates too. Since my freshman year here, as a team we have faced more adversity than your average college hockey team. The details of the adversity, in my opinion, don’t overly matter – the past is the past. But what does matter, is that we overcame it. The new era of Buckeye hockey kick started just the way we would have dreamed it to.

The future of the Buckeyes includes a new coaching staff. It’s been a pleasure to get to know them so well in such a short period of time. I am a huge believer in trust being a strong foundation, and my trust is growingly stronger every day with the new coaches. This process has been made easier with their endless support and understanding. The best part about this whole process has been as a team understanding and buying into what has the ability to make us great. It’s rare to have all members of the team on the same page, and fortunately we do.

This past weekend, as a non-ranked, underdog team, we went to Madison, Wisconsin to play the number one ranked team in the nation, the Wisconsin Badgers. In our first game, we saw substantial development from the previous weekend, and despite the loss, there was no reason to be hanging our heads. We had to be ready for battle less than 24 hours later. The following day, we held our own, we tied the Badgers 1-1. This was a pivotal moment for us, because during that game I saw in the eyes of my teammates, a sense of belief. There was confidence in the fact that as a team who has been through so much, we could skate with them.

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Jincy also played her first game in 581 days on September 30th, it was a blessing to share this moment together.

All in all, I am ecstatic to see where the team goes this year. There is no plateau for these Bucks, we will get better and better, I truly do believe that.

581 days… That’s a long time but I’m glad it stopped there. It could always be worse.

Go Bucks,

Kass

Wrapping things up

This Summer has truly been one for the books. I’ve worked, played, trained, relaxed and studied (a little). I am proud to say that I am right on track with my recovery from my surgeries and should be ready to help my team out for the 2016-2017 season.

Last week, I volunteered for the OWHA as an Assistant Coach for Team Reddon at the Ontario Summer Games in Mississauga. It was truly an experience of a lifetime. I learned so much from the other volunteer coaches and the OWHA. Not only hockey skills, but life skills that I will carry with me from here on out. I was fortunate enough to coach with fellow Student-Athlete Addison Halladay, the Toronto Midget AA Aeros coach Anna Blando and the well known ex-Olympian Cherie Piper. I am so thankful for the opportunity I was given and I look forward to working with the OWHA again in the near future.

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I leave for Ohio on Friday and I am so excited to see all my teammates (new & old) as we prepare for the season. I think I am well prepared for preseason testing as I have trained really hard this summer to make gains. I am at my strongest I have ever been and I am really thankful for the help and support I received from Twist Whitby, Elite Sports Medicine & Conditioning, Just Goalie and my parents. All of these people have got me to where I am today and have prepared me for my 8 months in Columbus – I can’t wait to win a couple games for them.

Our first game is on September 22nd, in 36 days (but who’s counting) against the Toronto Junior Aeros. It is going to be a really good experience for both teams because I use to play against them in minor hockey… This most definitely brings back some really good memories. The season officially kicks off on the road for us on September 3oth in Troy, New York at RPI.

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my blog, I am really grateful for you all. There have been a couple times where I’ve been asked why I do this, well it’s because I want to be able to look back at my blog in 2019 (after I graduate) and see all the people and moments that have influenced my career. From the smallest to the biggest moments, I want to remember them all, so this is an easy way for me to track my appreciation.

Here are pictures of just some of the highlights of my summer!

 

I hope you enjoyed…

As always, Go Bucks.

Getting close to the finish line…

We are just over half way through my Summer break at home in Canada. I have mostly been training, skating and and working. I physically could not be feeling better at this point in my recovery. Obviously, after two relatively extensive surgeries, I have had some minor setbacks, but nothing that says I can’t come back better than ever. The best news is that I am on track to be playing hockey pain free, something that I always feared after the surgeries, would never happen again.

As things slowly start to get back to “normal” with my body, I can say I’m beyond humbled and grateful for the whole process. I think the past year has allowed me to grow in ways that never would have happened without the injuries. All around, I am a stronger, better me (with improved hip joints too). My favorite part of this whole journey was working with my Surgeon, Athletic Therapists, Goalie Coach, Strength Coaches and Parents to get better everyday. Each little step forward made me feel like a kid again, always coming home at night excited to be like “mom and dad look at me, I skated!!” or “I squatted for the first time today.” I literally come home from the gym everyday and make my dad feel my leg muscles. Although nothing about the last year was easy, it was a challenge and I love challenges.

I have been working out at Twist Conditioning in Whitby and I could not be more thrilled with my choice to join the Twist Family this Summer. I have made gains as an athlete and person that I would have never made on my own. My Strength coach Steve has given me every opportunity to get better everyday. He pushes my workout partner Lisa and I day in, day out. In all honesty, I really look up to him and it’s easy to work hard when you’re training under the wings of someone like him. Not only is he a stellar coach, he is an even better human being. So far this summer, my biggest personal records have been Hip Thrusting 355lbs, squatting 200lbs and actually being able to run again without feeling like I’m going to pass out… Haha.

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Hip thrusting 355lbs

For physical therapy, I work with Matthew Leech, who is also the Athletic Therapist for the Oshawa Generals, he has done an outstanding job to make sure I am progressing at the right speed. He is also a pretty awesome boss… (I am a receptionist at his clinic).

For on ice training I have been working with my goalie coach of six years, Sandy Sampson. It is safe to say all the conditioning I missed through a year of not playing, I got back in at most three sessions with Sandy. I am so fortunate that he has taken the time to catch me up on all the goalie changes in the hockey world in the last year (which is actually a lot).

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First full gear ice session since February 28, 2015

Last but surely not least, my parents. I do not know what I would do without the love and support of my parents. Although I glorify the days where I come home happy after a workout, there have been days where I come home completely miserable because I am scared I tweaked something or because I didn’t set a new PB. They are there to constantly remind me that I am only 1 year out of surgery on one hip, and 7 months on the other. I really appreciate how giving they have been my whole life, especially in the last year with all of the dedication they have put in to my recovery. The first hockey game I play in 2016 will be for them. For everyone who has supported me along the way.

Well that’s about all that’s new with me right now. I am so excited to get back to Columbus to kick off the 2016-2017 season with my Buckeyes. My teammates have been a huge support through this process so now it is time for me to give back to them. I’m so very fortunate to have all the people I have in my life.

“Hard times will always reveal true friends” – isn’t that the truth.

As always, go bucks.

Kassidy

Full Speed Ahead into Summer Sixteen

Today I skated in full equipment for the first time since November 28th, 2015. I was overwhelmed with feelings of nervousness and elation. The past two months of hockey for me have been progressions of wearing half gear and adding an extra movement each time. Today, in full gear I was able to have my goalie coach Sandy Sampson shoot at my glove, blocker and stomach. It was an unsurpassed feeling to share that moment with him. Along with my family, he is part of the reason why I am where I am today (in the women’s hockey world).

Although the last year was glum without having the ability to play hockey, I am finally on the comeback. I haven’t had any setbacks for months and everything has been extremely smooth sailing. I am on the arduous battle of training, strengthening, rehabbing, skating and working on my flexibility so I can be ready for the 2016-2017 season and whatever it holds.

My mom, dad and I are headed to North Bay to see my grandma, aunts and cousins. My grandma, we call her Memere. She has to be one of the sweetest, confident, strong, and beautiful people I know (I could go on and on about her). My Memere calls me her little “Sweetie”, if that’s the case, I got the qualities that make me her sweetie from her!

Ever since I was little we have gone up North in the Summer to visit her and the rest of my family there. Those trips have been some of the best. The “egg on toasts” for breakfast, the pink mints in Memere’s basement that my brother and I would eat like crazy, the bubble gum and candy my Aunt Lise gave my brother and I as treats, the fun sleepovers and the “My 600lbs Life” show marathons with my Matante (Aunt) Nancy (who is my clone), these are the memories I will always hold in my heart…

Here’s to more memories this weekend with my beautiful family up North.  

KJS

[Boundless]

adjective  bound·less   \ˈbau̇n(d)-ləs\

 “not limited in anyway; having no boundaries”

I like to see myself as someone who breaks through barriers that are put in my way as challenges. I think that these things are put between myself and my goal to make me stronger and better. As they say “nothing worth having comes easy” and I’ve learned over the past year especially, that nothing stops you from getting better each day except for your own will. I want to improve everyday.

As our teams season came to an end on February 27th against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (who won the National Championship this past weekend), mine was just beginning. This time of the year is crucial for me to make gains in order to be prepared for competition next year. Just after the season ended I was cleared to start running and increase my cycling intensity. This was the first barrier I had to break through in order to make my comeback for the 2016-2017 season.

The next step in my recovery process is starting to skate in full equipment and being able to run longer distances. I am taking my recovery in strides, not doing more than I can, but continuing to push myself to grow each day.

I will be boundless by the end of this journey, I do believe that.

K

 

 

 

 

Half At It

On Monday, I was given permission by the team athletic trainer to skate in half of my gear; which included my all my lower body equipment.

No words can really describe the emotions that ran through my body when I took the first step onto the ice in over a year with more than just skates on my feet. This was the first time where I have ever cried on the ice, purely because the joy was so overpowering.

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Chills ran through my body, from head to toe. I am finally on the right track, almost back to playing the game I love – pain free.

On Thursday afternoon I met with the surgeon and he said he was rather impressed with my progress and was glad to see that both of my hips were nearly equal in strength and mobility. One thing I have learned through the rehabbing process is that working on my flexibility will be what brings me back to the highest level possible. I was also cleared to start building up to running again, which is something I cannot wait to have back in my life.

On Sunday morning at 5am, we leave for Spring Break vacation – at this point I think it is well needed by the girls. We have had a long year that has thrown us curve balls left and right. I think we need to get away from Columbus for a little while and come back refreshed and tan of course. We will be going to Fort Lauderdale again this year and I’m excited to soak up the sun with 13 teammates. I am very fortunate to go to a school where I have teammates that are also some of my best friends.

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See you soon Florida.

KJS