Where It All Began: I do not remember the first time that I put on ice skates, and I do not remember the details in playing my first hockey game; however what I do remember what was my first real true aspiration, and a true passion for something. When I was about four years old, my father started me in lessons to learn how to play hockey. At such a young age, I wouldn’t say that it was directly my decision, but I am thankful for the introduction to the coolest sport on planet Earth.
Hockey has been something that I have cherished deeply my whole life. Not only is it something that I have enjoyed spending time watching, playing and talking about throughout the entirety of my life, but it has taught me more life lessons than any class could ever have. Lessons of working as a team, being accountable, and dedication to something that is bigger than yourself were all learned through the course of my hockey career. More importantly, it taught me how to truthfully work for something that I wanted. Ever since that day that I first stepped on the ice, I have had the dream of playing hockey at the highest level possible.
The Decision: It was in the beginning of the summer of 2012 when I received a call that would eventually change my life. After much anticipation, I was invited to play in a recruiting camp for the Northern Pacific Hockey League. This was my chance, and I was going to do everything in my power to seize the opportunity.
Tryouts went great, and I was lucky enough to get an offer to play for a team based in Wenatchee Washington. As soon as I heard the news, I hastily deferred my acceptance to The University of Colorado, and began to prepare to move from my home in Colorado, west to Washington. At the time, this was one of the most exciting and scary decisions I have had to make to this day. It was a weird experience knowing that everyone I grew up with was preparing for college, and I was to move to a place I had never spent a day in my life.
The Aftermath: Just a few short weeks into the pre-season, I went from an all time high, to realizing my dreams may have been shattered right before me. In a complete accident during a routine practice, I was hit into the boards and suffered a bad concussion. Although at the time I thought that it would simply be another obstacle to overcome, the team doctor deemed that I due to previous head injuries, it was too risky for me to continue to play.
I left the sport I loved the most, with a bad taste in my mouth. A few days after my injury, I moved back home, and was able to reverse my deferment at CU. It was not until school was well under its way my Freshman year that I learned an even bigger lesson, one on vulnerability. I was embarrassed at first when I saw people on campus that knew that college was not my original first plan. It was hard for me to talk about it, and to this day it is something that I still think back upon. It was not until I was able to understand that life doesn’t always work as you might dream of it in your head, however what life is really about is being at peace with your past, and having the ability to change courses, and still put your best foot forward.