I haven’t been on the ice since my last professional game in March 2019. My relationship with hockey didn’t end the way I once dreamed. The dream that God placed on my heart at a very young age that I was going to play hockey in the Olympics. I was determined and beyond dedicated to the sport I loved for so many years. Receiving scholarships to take the black little girl from Inglewood, CA to new heights making that dream a real reality. But I wasn’t able to succeed in making that dream a reality. Leaving my relationship with hockey in a sour unknown place after my last game.
Years later and I still struggle with looking back on when I was my prime what it would have been like if I knew what I knew now about my mental health. I often wondered if I had truly asked for help earlier if I could have been even more dedicated, because I wouldn’t have been silently dealing with my mental health. To know what it meant to reach my true full potential. I had extremely high hopes for myself. To make a name for myself and be the black women hockey player I needed growing up. To not fulfill that, is heartbreaking. The weight of feeling like you let your friends, family, and yourself down is heavy. Accomplishing SO much in hockey while you played, and not feeling like that was enough. That just because you didn’t reach the dream, the other accomplishments in life meant nothing. Not being able to celebrate all the other accomplishments. It hasn’t been until I wrote this letter today that I have been able to explain why I left the game I loved with such a sour taste in my mouth.
But that’s the most beautiful thing about self growth and life. Is now that I can understand why I left hockey the way I did, I can also say with complete confidence that I wouldn’t chang a thing. Because, maybe that was never His plan to begin with. Maybe I only saw part of the dream on purpose. That my path in life happened exactly the way He planned all along. It’s sad, but beautiful because I have never been more sure about who I am and the importance of my continued growth. I am so grateful to have lived out such an incredible dream. It brought me places that I could only dream of.
I can finally say goodbye to my once dream and move forward with complete trust and faith in God. While I don’t know what that looks like yet, I will continue to live this beautiful life He has given me. Which now includes getting back on the ice and playing in a women’s league. I look forward to feeling like a kid again and finally enjoying the sport that was once my whole world again.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. (Jeremiah 29:11-12 NLT)
God is so good and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me. It’s nerve wrecking. It’s testing at times. Let’s be honest, I was never good at being patient. 😅 Whatever it is, I know it will be the most beautiful life, designed just for me.
Until next time,