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Spokane Women’s Hockey: Vanessa Vargas Shares her Love for the Game

I simply cannot imagine what my life was like before hockey. A lot of my favorite memories have always been hockey related. Having hockey in my life is something that I will always cherish and I’m grateful that it has been almost 20 years of playing. I was mesmerized while watching hockey on TV or hockey-related movies and wanted to pretend I was one those hockey players.

I know that I was not in this alone as I have a sister close in age that has been through a lot with me, including hockey. We continue to play together in the same league, and occasionally we play against each other to make things interesting, but I love having a sister who’s involved in hockey with me.

I was born and raised in Spokane, Washington (the eastern part of Washington state). I did not have hockey players in my family or friends who participated. My sister and I got into hockey on our own. When we skated on the ice for the first time, we were instantly hooked on the sport and never looked back. I think once our parents saw it they knew as well.

Over the years, we played with local hockey teams and even played on a girl’s team for the majority of our youth. From then on we stayed playing on girl’s teams and even traveled across the country for hockey camps—just so we could grow as players. We knew that opportunities meant going out of our area to play and learn from coaches who could help us improve as players. In the long run we are grateful for being part of those camps every summer during high school.

I personally wanted to take on different challenges and play on travel teams part time to still get out to competitive tournaments around the country and not have to leave home.  It was a tough choice to do that instead of playing on the teams full time. I don’t regret the choice I made in playing part time. It still allowed me to see a lot throughout my travels in hockey and enjoy the tournaments that gave me a lot of opportunities in hockey itself and learning more about myself as well.

For me, life can always be taught in lessons that are from the activities you do. It teaches us how to really push ourselves and grow as individuals who learn and respect the values of life to live by as we grow as adults.

Shortly after finishing high school, I joined my local women’s hockey team to play recreational hockey. They are an amazing group of women that are great friends to play hockey with. I simply enjoy playing with them because it’s a great community of hockey that is fun to be around and reminds me of why I could never stop playing hockey.

These days it’s more about enjoying the moments you have with hockey and sharing that experience with teammates and friends. When we are adults, life has its ups and downs and we may not always get to play, but when you do it can make your day simply because you are just having fun.

I wanted to write what hockey is like in my area that I live in and in time I hope to share what the Spokane women’s hockey means to me and how they are my hockey family. For those who have lived or dealt with the same type of scenarios, I hope you share your journey as well and let others see what hockey means to you. As the year goes on I will share the events and travels I go on for hockey as I hopefully meet new players and make connections with others around world.

Thanks for reading!


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