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Life Without Hockey; Embracing Change

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Happy New Year!

It seems as if the holidays flew by faster than ever this year, which is utterly depressing. I flew home to Halifax on December 20th and came back the morning of the 31st to spend New Year’s Eve here in Ottawa. I hadn’t been home in over six months, so it was nice to finally get home and see my friends and family.

Today (January 5th) is the first day back to class (and work)… I was not a happy camper getting out of bed this morning. BUT, on a positive note, tonight is also the World Juniors gold medal game (let’s not mention the fact that I have class during the game, but am obviously going to be sitting at home in front of the TV..)! As a Canadian that was born and raised into the ‘hockey world’, the World Juniors have always been one of the best parts of Christmas. Watching the first game on Boxing Day has become a tradition for my family and many others across the country. I think I’ve enjoyed watching the tournament this year more than years in the past. The competition from countries other than the U.S. and Canada has picked up and teams like Denmark, Russia and Slovakia have made leaps and bounds in comparison to past years. It’s really raised the overall tempo of the tournament.

On another note, this was also the first Christmas in a long time that I didn’t have to return to school early to play hockey. This brought mixed feelings, as it was nice to have more time at home to relax, but there was also a slight feeling that something was missing. The girls from my former team returned to Ottawa on December 28th for practices in preparation for exhibition games against Canada and Switzerland’s U-18 teams. They were on the road for New Year’s Eve and from what I hear, were exhausted by the end of the trip.

I miss hockey. How could I not? But I do not miss the hectic schedule that comes with hockey at this level. This is one of the first times in my life that I feel like my schedule is in my own control. That really is a great feeling, I must say. I’ve joined a spin class for this coming semester and have already made workout plans with friends and committed to a weekly yoga class. I can’t remember the last time I was able to do that, to choose my own workout schedule.

Although I’ve certainly had my fair share of bad luck in the past couple years, I think that now is a perfect opportunity to approach the rest of this year with a positive outlook. I have an opportunity to really apply myself to my schooling, to hold down a part-time job on the side, and to explore other hobbies and interests that I have never had time to delve into in the past. Not playing hockey this semester is going to be a big change for me, but maybe it’s time for a change.

Until next time,

Julianne

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