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Personally, it’s been a long road, and it’s by no means been easy, especially as a woman trying to make it in a male-dominated field.
I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this incredible venture; I remember when I first decided to take a stab at writing. At four years old, I’d go around my house writing stories on pieces of Scotch tape in big block letters with Magic Marker. I didn’t want to forget anything, so I’d stick those pieces of tape everywhere — the side of the kitchen island, across the hardwood floors, on my dresser. Anywhere and everywhere, I’d keep track of all kinds of stories.
Growing up with just my mom and my sister, times were tough. My dad wasn’t around, and I blamed myself for many of the hardships my family had to endure. It was hard to see the positives most of the time.
Then, one day, my mom scored tickets to a Capitals-Blues game. Just watching these guys skate and breathing in that cool air from the rink was enough to fall in love with the game. From that point on, it was all about hockey. I’d spend my nights playing NHL ’09’s Be-A-Pro mode for hours on end on my beat-up PlayStation. As a soccer goalie, I thrived playing the butterfly style you see on ice. I’d race home after school and finish my homework (or procrastinate), so I could watch hockey.
Hockey, hockey, hockey.
When I got to high school, I experienced a major growth spurt and started to ponder the meaning of life. Well, I guess more so where my life was headed. I never quite fit in with the “popular” crowd, and I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t even know if I could make something of myself as a small-town kid. Public speaking was out of the question. Maybe I’d be a teacher… but it doesn’t help if you look like a teenager yourself. So, I decided to stick to my roots: I’d continue writing and try to combine my love of hockey with that.
I was pretty good at it (or so I hoped), and it was also something I was incredibly passionate about. However, my college advisor pulled me aside and told me that hockey writing wasn’t a feasible career. It wasn’t something that I would ever get a job doing; it was a different beast, and maybe I should pick a different sport. That’s devastating for a 19-year-old to hear, but after a couple of hours sitting alone in the lobby of my journalism school, I said to myself: “No, I’m gonna go for this.”
And I did. I’d wake up early each day to take the hour-and-a-half Metro ride to MedStar Capitals Iceplex. Sure, I skipped class from time to time to do this, but hey, it’s healthy to ditch every now and again. I’d jot down my notes and questions in Sharpie, get to the rink, chat with players about all kinds of things (Matt Niskanen‘s early aspiration of being a gym teacher, Braden Holtby‘s despise of ginger, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom‘s bromance, etc.) and make it back for class.
Sure, there’s been challenges to overcome. Mistakes made. Bouts of depression and bouts of self-doubt. Misogyny. Being mistaken for a lost child at MSG. Multiple moves up and down the East Coast. All-nighters where you look at four empty soda cans and a finished party-size bag of chips piled next to your beaten-up keyboard and think, “Can I really do this?”
But, in hockey-like fashion, you get back up and battle for those victories. And you win. So, despite adversity, I was there when the Capitals won tight games and dropped key matchups. I was there when they finally hoisted the Stanley Cup, and of course, I was there for ups and downs that followed.
At the end of the day, I’m still a kid at heart. A rebel, a person who doesn’t take the normal path. But I’m doing what I can to live the dream, and I’m grateful for every day. And I’m ready to continue the journey with Washington Hockey Now as I look to continue making a difference. So don’t shy away from hitting the good ol’ subscribe button for top-notching Capitals coverage.
The boys are buzzing. So without further ado, let’s drop the puck.