As an athlete, you learn a lot about yourself when you are withdrawn from the one thing you have dedicated years of hard work and training to. It has been about 330 days since I last played a hockey game. Through these 330 long days, I have learned so much off of the ice surface.
- Hockey is a privilege – by this I mean that it’s easy to take something that you’ve been doing everyday since you were three years old for granted. It becomes such a routine that sometimes, you forget to cherish it. Every day I get to lace my skates up in the future, I know I will wear my heart on my sleeve.
- Rehab is important – in order to get back to where I was prior to my injuries, it is crucial that I spend time making myself better. It will not just happen, I have to make it happen.
- Appreciating the women’s game – until I was 15 years old I played boys hockey at the highest level. Coming in, this was hard. I always appreciated hockey but had to learn a lot when I switched over. Being in the stands and watching these talented athletes perform at the highest level has truly grown my appreciation for the women’s game
- Players tendencies – being in the stands has given me the opportunity to be a student of the game. Every time I watch my team play, I pay attention to the other teams players and what they tend to do in the offensive and defensive zone.
This is definitely just a small list of things I have learned being out of the game and I’m sure I’ll continue to build more life skills and desirable qualities before I see the ice again.
I am a strong believer that one of the reasons why I am still sane after this rollercoaster ride of a year is because of the support of my parents. From day one, they have pushed me to do what was right for my body (in the long run). As much as they hate to see me out of the game for so long, they are parents and they care about my quality of life after I hang the skates up. Without them, I would be an emotional train wreck. I know on days where I miss the game a little more than others, they are just a phone call or text away. I truly appreciate everything they have done for me. All the years they have dedicated. When I step back on to the ice, I will play for them. They have always believed in me, which has resulted in me believing in myself.
Here’s to the learning curve.