I started playing hockey when I was 8 years old. Ringette is what got me started skating the 2 years prior to that. But when I attended the Brandon Wheat Kings summer hockey camp in 2003, I never looked back.
Since then, I have played with a ton of hockey players, both male and female, of all ages. Beginning with the Portage Terriers, my family then moved to SouthWest Manitoba where I was ecstatic to begin playing with the Westman Wildcats from grade 9-12. Those have easily been the most fun and exciting years of hockey for me. During this time, I also had the privilege to play on Team Manitoba in 2011 in Saguenay, Quebec where we won the bronze medal and 2012 in Dawson Creek, BC where we won the silver medal. I was also invited to the U-22 Team Canada Development off-ice conditioning camp and on ice training camp in 2013.
Very eagerly, I committed to the University of Maine on October 27th, 2012 to play division one women’s hockey. I left for university eleven days after my graduation to train and take classes to get ahead. I had very high expectations for both my teammates and coaches going in, since this is what I had dreamed of doing since I was 8 years old. Although I made some great friends, I transferred. I found myself unhappy with the situation, and life is too short to have to do something you are not enjoying.
Since then, I have transferred one more time, and now am now proud to say that I have ended up at the University of Manitoba playing women’s hockey for the Bisons! My coaches and teammates have been the most welcoming university team for me yet. Although I have only been skating with the team for a week, I am very thankful and excited to be apart of such a great group of girls and hockey players.
I am proud to say that I have respected myself enough in this crazy process to walk away from situations that have no longer served me, helped me grow or made me happy, and I encourage others to do the same. I owe it all to my parents, since they have been nothing short of my biggest supporters through everything.
I have learned that the happiest people don’t necessarily have the nicest facilities, the most money or everything handed to them, the happiest people make the best of everything I have.
I am still in the middle of getting settled with starting school and a new team, but the friends I already have here and the ones I have already made are great. I have chosen to always be kind to people, because you never know what is happening in their lives. People are always going through ups and downs. I have been through a lot, but I always think someone else is going through something worse. I am proud to say that I have done everything I can to set myself up to the best of my ability to excel in school and hockey. I choose to be happy today.
‘The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there if you let it. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!’ –Rocky Balboe.