Remember that feeling the first time you took the ice?
You’re sitting in the dressing room, head sinking into your shoulder pads, watching mom, dad or coach do up your skates. You don’t yet have a preference for how tight they’re tied, so however they lace ’em is perfect – as long as you’re on the ice soon.
Anxious to get started, you’re already wearing your gloves, so someone helps with your helmet and you’re ready for action. Looking like an astronaut, with that gigantic dome on your four or five-year-old head, you wobble to the ice. You struggle with the gate handle as you adjust to life with over-sized gloves on your hands, but handling the stick is no problem – it just feels natural.
Next, you meet steel with ice.
Maybe you stumble and feel the cold from the ice filter through your armour as you roll to your feet. A lesson is learned.
Maybe you zoom around the ice out of the gate, the first of countless strides you’ll take. A passion is born.