Today when I woke up, it felt like any other day. I went to the gym, went to school, and planned for an evening skate at Pepsi Center. I walked through the entrance and proceeded to the locker room; my fellow ice girls and I laced up our skates and got ready to go. We were greeted by bright-eyed families and children of all ages when we got to the rink. Some were nervous and some were excited as we fitted them with helmets, skates, and elbow pads for the skating session.
The first little boy I skated with was roughly five years old and it was his first time ever being on the ice. It reminded me of my first time and how I fell in love with hockey the day I stepped foot on the ice. He was really scared initially but after our first lap, he was ecstatic. He wanted to go fast so I held him up and got some speed going. It was a great feeling to know that I shared such a special moment with this child and I hope that he pursues the sport because he was definitely a natural! I spent the majority of the night pushing kids around in chairs, letting them race against Bernie, and spinning them around. It was a blast! I enjoyed watching kids shoot pucks at the net and the excitement in their eyes from scoring a goal was extremely gratifying. One of my favorite moments from the night was when Ryan O’Reilly asked the kids if they had any questions and the little boy I’d been skating with raised his hand. Ryan, expecting a hockey-related question, called on him. The boy said, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Everyone laughed and it was so cute. Just in case you were wondering why the chicken crossed the road, it was to get to his eggs! :)
I spent a decent amount of time talking to a young man named Logan who some of you might recall from the Avalanche vs. Stars puck drop the other night. As I write this, I’m still nearly speechless. He was one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. I can’t say enough great things about him, I’m so happy that his treatment has been successful, and that he’ll be able to play again. I considered myself blessed to share the ice with such an incredible group of kids and families. When I realized the strength that each one of them possessed, and at such a young age, I absolutely admired them. Watching them have so much fun and getting to share that experience with them was really moving. I look up to these kids for their courage, strength, determination, and their very humble demeanor. Tomorrow, I won’t just go to school. I won’t just wake up and say, “It’s just another day.” Today, from these children, I’ve learned that every day is a gift and should be treated as such.
Thank you so much to all the families that came out to skate today and all the kids. You’re all so inspirational and strong. We loved skating with you and getting to know you!
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