Growing up in sport, you grow accustomed to having life planned out down to the second. Practice starts at 12:30 and pregame always begins at 5:00. Workouts are Monday and Wednesday with a ten minute warm-up and a ten minute roll out. Meal sign up is Thursday afternoon, and coaches will pick up groceries for snacks at the hotel. Online physics assignments are due Monday by 11:59 PM and labs are every other week. It can be difficult to manage, but it’s just that, managed, perhaps even micromanaged. This is the reality for the 25 people who make up a team.
I tried many different team sports as a child, but hockey won out as my passion. I was fortunate enough to pursue this passion at an elite level playing for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. Although the expectations were greater and the commitments were more demanding, I quickly fell into routine. School and hockey consumed every line of every page in my Thunderbird planner. I knew where to be and when, always, and I showed up. For the next four years, this was my life.
After graduation there were no classes, midterms, exams, practices, workouts, and games filling that planner; there was empty page after empty page.
Those first few bare weeks were a relief. Mentally, physically, and emotionally I was drained and I finally felt as though I had some down time. It didn’t take long for my relief to subside, and when it did I found myself completely overwhelmed. It hadn't occurred to me that while I had been living my life I hadn't necessarily been calling the shots. No one was making decisions for me, but my commitment to sport dictated my every move. For once I was solely accountable for choosing who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and how I was going to get there. This was the “real world” and I had entered it abruptly.
While it wasn't easy to find direction immediately, I decided it was time to put my “big girl” pants on and start making moves. I realized that nobody was going to fill my days for me. Now that I’m settling in at Groundwork Athletics, I have a new team and new commitments. The empty pages are starting to fill up again. However this time it is on my terms.