“It Will Take You Where You Want To Go”

“The game will take you where you want to go.”

I’ve been using that line a lot lately. I realize it’s cliché, but I wouldn’t be saying it if I didn’t believe it.  Sure the game of hockey has it’s dark tendencies, which I’ve written about a lot, but the game has a unique way of giving back to those that put so much in to it. Hockey rewards resiliency, perseverance, persistence and passion like no other sport.  I first heard that phrase uttered when one of my golfing idols Doug Sullivan pulled four or five of us junior golfers aside. 

His message resonated with a few of us, but for other’s they were just words. Those words motivated me, they inspired me to work harder, to try to put everything I could into the game I loved. That game of golf has taught me a lot about myself over the years just like the game of hockey.

I knew my playing days were numbered, I was never going anywhere as a hockey player, but that didn’t mean I didn’t love and respect the game for what it was and what it had taught me. I knew I wanted to give back to the game I loved when the timing was right. 

For the last few years, I’ve also used this catch phrase a lot, “hockey dreams do come true.” Perhaps, I’m selling the ‘unattainable dream’ by writing feature articles showcasing those within the game. 

Perhaps I need to tone down the positivity surrounding the game and showcase the raw reality of the game. Not everyone loves the game, especially if they feel the game has wronged them in some way. 

You see my longtime hockey coach, idol, colleague and mentor Dale Turner always taught us an unparalleled love, passion and respect for the game.  Uniquely it was part of his coaching philosophy. 

I will never forget that about Dale’s amazing coaching and I will be forever grateful that he and my family taught me the value of hard work, passion and love for the game. 

Nevertheless, the question remains does the game really take you where you want to go?  Every kid dreams of the NHL. Every kid dreams of hockey glory, but only few ever get to experience it. 

You see the game has a way of teaching us unique life lessons at every stop a long our path within it. 

From the diehard passionate fan that never had the opportunity to play the game, to the proud hockey parent whose son or daughter finally made the provincial or high school team in their last year, to the Midget aged kid that has been cut from the AAA team for two consecutive years that finally makes it. The game of hockey always has a way of rewarding and celebrating dedication and resiliency.

Do people still dream? 

I ask my students that question a lot. 

You see I talk about dreams a lot in my classes. Hell, Personal Development and Career Planning is essentially all about finding out who you really are as a person. It’s about discovering your passions and inspirations in every facet of your life. 

It’s about finding your personal and career pathway with the main goal of having them align. I always try to tell my students about a bet I made with my brother when I was eight or nine years old. 

A matter of fact I still owe him fifty bucks. I bet him that I would make the NHL. 

Obviously, that dream hasn’t come true, but that hasn’t stopped me from still dreaming about making it to the NHL in another capacity. You see the game will take you where you want to go. 

I never would have imagined where the game has taken me and all the amazing people I’ve met over the years within it.  I guess that’s why I find other people’s stories in the game so intriguing. 

Everyone has a story. Everyone has a dream. From the fan, to the reporter, to the broadcaster, to the coach, to the parent, to the scout, to the referee and finally the player, everyone has a dream. 

The game will take you where you want to go, if you allow it to. Everyone’s path is different, the end result may not exactly be where you expected to be, but the journey to that point is usually the most rewarding. 

Do hockey dreams do come true? 

I guess you have to keep dreaming to find out.  

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