I want every girl to have sport there to save them, just like it saved me.
When I was a kid, I grew up watching my dad coach professional hockey and my mom playing baseball and tennis. My brother and I were either at the ball diamond watching my mom play with our Double Bubble gum, or in the hockey rink running around and watching hockey.
There is not a time in my life where I don’t remember being around and involved in sports.
When I was 12, my parents divorced.
My mom was also diagnosed with breast cancer.
She underwent surgery and treatment for two years and then died just before I started high school.
It was a devastating and horribly traumatic part of my life, that also somehow had amazingly beautiful moments filled with joy, laughter and love.
Through it all, sport saved me.
Into high school I struggled, walking a very fine line between destructive and productive behaviour, battling depression and feeling so completely broken, lost and meaningless. Sport saved me.
In University, I continued to struggle with not feeling good enough, not fitting in, depression and anxiety. Sport saved me.
Into my 20s, again, lost, struggling quietly and alone. Sport saved me.
It’s not about the Olympics, being the best, earning money or even about a future in sport (those are all amazing possibilities, though).
It’s about the community, the outlet, the healthy habits, the physical activity, the challenge of pushing yourself and knowing you’ll survive, the resilience, the friendships, the escape, the fun, the wins and losses, the give and take, learning to tolerate and cooperate with people you may not see eye to eye with but are working for the same outcome, learning what you like and don’t like, that feeling that you could not possibly give any more and then doing it anyways.
That is what sport is about.
It’s about being alive.
It’s about learning how resilient, strong and worthy you are.
And that carries into the future of girls everywhere.
Sport saved me and I want to make sure it’s there for girls everywhere.
Without it, I don’t think I would be here ❤️