So many people don't understand why I love hockey so much, and why I hate missing games. Honestly I don't fully understand it myself. All I know is that it's my lifeline. It's my happy place, a place to get away from the stress of life, and focus fully on watching my boys play for 60 minutes. It's a place filled with people I love who understand that same love of the game. People I see 40+ times a year who I share my life with, get to know, and look forward to seeing each and every game. It's a place I can cheer when my boys win, and feel their pain when they lose. Where I can be proud of them each and every night when they leave everything they have on the ice, and feel like I have a small part in all of it by being in the stands and cheering my heart out for them. At this level, I even have the honor of getting to know the players through the booster club, so the games mean that much more with each victory or defeat. Each year we say goodbye to players we have watched play for 4-5 years. Players we have seen grow in their games and as people since they hit the ice at 15 years old. It's heartbreaking and exciting since many of them move on to bigger and better things. Each year we also welcome new faces, and get to watch that excitement as they learn the game at this level and settle into their roles.
The people I have met in the last 8 years while watching Seattle Thunderbirds games are amazing. The parents, the players, the billets, the season ticket holders, all of the people I look forward to seeing again each August as hockey season ramps up again. I have met some life long friends from all over the world through this game.
So no. I can't fully explain my love of hockey to someone who hasn't experienced. But those who have experienced it understand. Once it's in your blood it's impossible to get rid of. It's my happy place, and I am beyond thankful to be part of this crazy little hockey world. Here's to a long playoff run for my boys so we have a short season without that rush.