I play hockey and soccer at a high level. People call me an athlete and I guess I am, but I really don’t know any other way to be. You ‘gotta’ understand my family to get me.
My Mom is kind of crazy. She and Dad have 3 businesses, she does a bunch of grown up things … like she is on sports and community boards, and stuff. She played a couple of varsity sports back in the olden days in University (she’ll kill me for that one too, ha ha) She is always busy, but her #1 priority has always been our sports. Yeah, I have an annoying twin brother who is a good athlete too. My Mom has a couple rules about joining things. She’ll sign us up to try anything, but the rule is we have to always finish what we start … no quitting … and she and dad will pay our fees as long as we work hard at whatever we do. And if we don’t, we sure hear about it. “Have fun, play hard”, is what we hear every time we head to sports. It’s where I get my drive.
And, that annoying twin brother, Devon … everyone calls him Devil, for good reason!! We always compete with each other. Of course, I am stronger than him, play AAA boys hockey with him and have slap shot from the blueline today because of all the races we have staged, all the shots we have taken in the driveway, and everything else we challenge each other to… he’s not gonna beat me … in sports or in chirps J It’s where I get my compete.
I wear the #16 on my back. It’s Grandpa Preston’s hockey #. He was the best ever. He died suddenly I was 12. He was my best friend. Yeah, he was a good hockey player, a great player who was still lighting it up at 70 years old, but to me he was my biggest supporter and just a great person … kind and patient with everyone. Everyone loved him. He always made me feel special like I could accomplish anything. He always said, “when you realize how good you are, no one will stop you”. I never really understood what he meant, but these days each time I challenge myself to do new things, to reach the next level, and kind of surprise myself by succeeding … I am starting to understand and believe what he said. He gives me my inspiration.
And, there are many others, from Dad, who puts up with all our crazy sports and our crazy Mom, he is the sports taxi driver and the calm in the sports storm … to Grandmas and Aunties, cousins, friends and others come to our games, cheer us on and support us in all we do. Not to mention all those coaches.
Mom says, we were born lucky in that we are athletic, she says, “God gave us a gift, but it’s up to us to use it.” I say “it takes a village to make a great athlete’. It’s not just me on the pitch or on the ice, it’s ‘me and my village’. I work hard ‘cause I am not gonna let my peeps down. Ever. That’s where I get my balance.