I remember first stepping foot on the ice in hockey skates.  Two emotions come to mind: fear and excitement.  The way the adrenaline pulsed through me that afternoon was unforgettable, and something I knew I needed to chase.  Hence, I continued the sport for years.  Thirteen years, to be exact.

My day-to-day was to wake up, go to school, go to hockey practice, go home, do homework, go to bed, and do it all over again.  I lived, breathed, and dreamed about the sport.  There was a brief moment in my childhood where I did private hockey lessons before school, as there were never enough hours in a day.  I aspired to excel in the sport, until…some point I didn’t.

At some point in high school, I started to question how far I wanted to go with hockey.  I wanted to go to college and play, which was never questioned.  By age seventeen, my concerns widened and the adrenaline rush hockey once gave me disappeared.  Something else started to overtake my goals and thoughts: travel and writing.

Creating worlds within blank pages was something I did as a hobby.  Filling notebooks with fictitious worlds kept me grounded and content.  Alongside the piles of notebooks I had filled in my youth, looking up from the carpet of my childhood bedroom, there were maps that filled my walls.  Pins put in places I had been and places I wanted to go, lists created of ways to save and see all of those places.

I knew sometime in the middle of undergrad that aspirations of pursuing hockey beyond college were not for me.  The dreams hockey had once showed me don't match what I now found joy in.  Yet, I knew ending this chapter early would do a disservice to my efforts, and how much time I had put into the sport.  For thirteen years, hockey was my prime passion.  It was my first love.  It is at the root of all the things that have happened to help me to this point: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Now, traveling and being able to create—whether it is writing or media—give me the same adrenaline rush I felt thirteen years ago.  I am scared at points, out of my comfort zone, but I find there are times I am so elated and high on life that I can’t imagine doing anything else in the world.  Truly and completely, I accept all that has happened, and all that will come as a result of following new passions, new goals, and new plans.

Here’s to hockey, my first true passion in life, but not my last.  You opened up the world, taught me the basics, and introduced me to some of the most amazing people.  Your prominence is over, but this is just the beginning of another bright chapter.

Love,

Your old friend, Marie

Published by Marie Soukup