The temperature is starting to change in Central Indiana and that means that it is finally time for Thanksgiving turkey and fires in the fireplace. Usually, I am not the one to write what I am thankful for all over the internet but this post is a little different. There is a lot to be thankful for and here is one of them for me.
First let me start off saying that I am very thankful for many things such as my family, having a roof over my head and for the many friends I have made over the years. For as long as I can remember, hockey has been a part of my life. I started skating when I was very young and was lucky to be coached by my Dad throughout my years of travel hockey. Growing up, playing sports was something that was huge in my family. With three brothers, my parents were always driving my brothers and me around the Midwest playing whatever sport that was in season. The two, three, four-hour drives and spending weekends in hotels never got old.
Hockey was always constant in my life. Whether I was playing in the driveway, on Xbox or at the rink, it is always on my mind. Without it, I don’t know where I would be. Luckily, my girlfriend supports my love for the game and is willing to sit in hockey rinks and watch me play or go with me to Fuel games. Recently, I took her to her first NHL game and can confidently say that there will be much more to come.
As I said, my Dad was my coach throughout travel hockey and up until high school. The amount I learned from him is indescribable. From being told to always play my hardest to keeping my mouth shut on the bench, he always had a lesson for me and my teammates. I was lucky to travel to Canada for the Silver Sticks Tournament with my Dad three years in a row. While playing in those tournaments, you collect pins from other teams. My Dad always told me to collect the pins and put them somewhere I won’t lose them. I still have every pin from every team I could get one from on an Indianapolis Racers skate towel.
With my Dad being the head coach of those teams, he picked the players and helped me make some lifelong friends. Anybody who plays hockey will tell you it is a very small world. No matter where you are, if you are talking to somebody who plays, it seems they know somebody that you know. The friends I have made on and off of the ice have turned into friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Whether it was somebody who played travel hockey with me or somebody who currently plays on my college club team, I can confidently say that they are some of my best friends. The stories that I will be able to tell at a bar and can tell now never get old. I have been very lucky to have met as many people as I have through hockey.
So as we are all saying our thanks, don’t forget those that you see a few nights a week at your local rink. They are friendships that should be cherished. No matter what kind of day I am having, I know that being in the rink and seeing my rink rat friends is something that I am very thankful for. So I wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving from me to you.