Working at the front desk of the arena, I was confronted by a figure skater with a grudge against hockey players as in “its harder in figure skating because we only use one edge at a time while hockey players use two edges.” Okaaay. Rather than say something sarcastic, I listened and thought to myself “Why all the hate?” We both (figure and hockey players) love the ice and love the workout it gives us. Granted, we can gripe at each other about ice temperature (yep, as a hockey player I like it cold and fast) and how each of us manages to chew up the ice (yes, figure skaters, you do chew up the ice with those toe picks—I know, I practice after you too). But why, as women, do we feel a need to pick a battle among ourselves? I’m just asking for more respect all around – I respect figure skaters because they don’t have padding (falling hurts) and I know how tough it is to hold edges (which most nonskaters don’t get). Hopefully I can get figure skaters to respect my goal to try to simultaneously try and control a hard rubber puck and to not skate into other folks.
When I was done pondering that, I thought about the hockey season starting and all the jealousy that can occur within a team that serves to tear us apart. And I realized I needed to reflect on my own little green monster. I decided I needed to use jealousy to, ahem, yes, it’s from a magazine, “ turn envy into opportunity”. I’m not sure how well it is going to work, but I’m hoping it serves to make me better and helps quash that little green beastie (maybe call her “Jade”?) just a little. My first experience was when “Jade” noted that a fellow skater seemed to be getting greater opportunities than me. Yes, pretty basic, right. So, I decided instead of being mad at either her or others was to be a copycat, i.e., follow her example of going to camp, be available to others and let them know my interest. Next, I decided to use social media to be happy and grateful to others. Instead of using Facebook to wear myself down with comparing myself to others, I decided to use social media to reflect on what I am grateful for. Womens hockey for me has always been about the community I get to belong to and I need to be grateful to all those women who make me better and showed me the way forward. “Jade” might tell me that others may not have worthy individual brags on Facebook, but I know better. “Jade would also tell me to focus on other folks weaknesses to make me feel better". Well, that doesn’t help my team, or me get any better. Instead, I’ve decided to focus on my strengths. If insecurity often hides jealousy, I’ve discovered that I can look at what I am capable of and then look to see what others have as strengths. I’m also working on my weaknesses so the next time “Jade” tells me to wallow in my misery for an entire season, I will humor her briefly and then move on. I know I have jealous feelings, they won’t disappear and I’m no saint but it’s ridiculous to have them forever. So I’m going to practice that yogic breathing and move on. Even if it’s someone I really can’t stand, I have to let it go. The first step in reversing the course of Queen Bees (yep, even at my age they are there) and Mean Girls, is to break the chain and realize everyone gets some success in their life. As women, we have hard enough battles on and off the ice. I figure I need to at least start with myself in taming my own “jade” for the benefit of myself and my team.
Will any of these result in better tourney results or a trip to the US Nationals? Who knows but it has opened my mind to how jealously can prevent me from getting better by focusing on too much on things I can’t control rather than what I can control (aka me). So, here’s to sharing the love of hockey, ice skating and the upcoming season (go NWHL!) and losing the hate (of figure skaters, teammates and foes).