We were shocked and not the least bit thrilled when our son, eight years old at the time, announced to us he wanted to play hockey. I heard the evil stories of 5am practices, unheated rinks, weekends and holidays that are jammed with games and tournaments. The cost, the travel, the time! 9 years later, I haven't regretted a day and I am grateful for every season he's played. Even more so now, after reading his latest essay. My now 17- year old was asked to write an essay on how he defies convention.
Challenged and Inspired by Hockey
by Joe Burns
I defy convention through my work ethic which developed and grew through my years of playing hockey. My generation has grown up expecting things to come to them instantly, in a snap! So much so that we have now been dubbed "generation now." Please don't lump me in that category. I'm the type of person who likes to work toward their goal, no matter how long it may take.
When I started playing hockey, at the age of eight, most of the kids around me were tremendously more advanced. They started skating as soon as they could walk. This certainly didn't give me the "edge" in this fast and furious sport. But instead of hanging up the skates, I was motivated to work even harder. I became determined to catch up to the kids who could literally skate circles around me and make the elite travel team. I dedicated an entire summer of my young life to hockey, practicing every day and shooting on the net in my driveway over and over again until my parents nagged me to come inside.
When I returned to the ice arena after that summer, the coaches saw a totally different skater. They were shocked to see the kid who struggled so much to keep up, now leading the pack. I tried out for the team that year and made it! That was one of the most satisfying feelings I have ever experienced, dedicating myself to a goal and then reaching it. Hockey provided a good life lesson for me. When I now set a goal for myself, I not only want to reach it, I want to exceed it and reach heights that I didn't even know were possible. That is how I defy convention in my life.