Happy opening weekend ECHL ladies! Hockey season is finally upon us and I’m really anxious to get the ball rolling. Todd will be wearing number twenty-one for the Wichita Thunder for the second consecutive year. I love Wichita, the fans are great and really passionate, and the atmosphere at the Intrust Bank arena is electric. Win or lose, you can’t help but have a great time there. More importantly, watching Todd interact with all the little fans literally melts my heart. Seeing kids look up to him and wanting to follow in his footsteps gives me an overwhelming sense of pride and admiration. I can’t help but be so happy for him, I love watching him succeed and I know that there are such good things in store for him. I’m honoured to be part of this journey with him, by far the greatest sidekick I could ever ask for.
That’s all just so lovely, isn’t it?
But enough with all the mushy crap, it’s not all butterflies and rainbows over here. It’s stressful, it’s emotionally and mentally draining. Sometimes fans get a little over the top, and I get a tad bit frustrated. How does everyone get to enjoy my man so much and I’m over here living off FaceTime and phone calls? Bring out the violin cause I won’t be able to stop once you get me going.
Yeah, yeah I get it.
This isn’t the NHL, for obvious reasons. Todd isn’t going to be skating around hoisting the Stanley Cup any time soon, he doesn’t have a million followers on social media and he won’t be on any Nike commercials. But, that doesn’t take away from the fact that I am damn well proud of the guy and I’m going to tweet it, and Instagram it and talk about it all day everyday if I want to. Not only am I his girlfriend, but I’m also a coach, motivator, advisor, critic, and biggest fan. When he’s down, I’m down. When he has a shitty game, I feel for him. When he’s in a slump, I’m in a slump too. But when he’s on fire, I’m screaming from the rooftops and doing my happy dance like I just won the Lotto Max ( I wish, but I did win the boyfriend lottery. Close enough, right?)
Raise your hand if you spend the off season worrying about where he’s going to play next.
Raise your hand if you’re on edge all through training camp.
Raise your hand if you get so over involved, that you think to yourself hey, I should really just coach the damn team. My hand is raised so high right now (metaphorically of course).
That’s the thing right? You gotta take the negative with the positive.
Realistically these guys are just a number, and if they don’t preform it’s see ya later alligator! Cringe. It’s the political side of the sport, or any sport for that matter. A few draft picks get sent down, and before you know it your butt is out the door. So damn unfair. I’ve dealt with it and I’ve watched some really great girls and their better halves go though it. It can happen at any moment, there isn’t any guarantee. If they get cut or traded, you pack up and move. Sometimes things work out and sometimes you go home and tackle plan B (there’s always a plan B). It’s not just hockey, I know baseball, basketball and football wives and girlfriends that have gone through the same thing.
That leads me to what I originally wanted this post to be about. Us ladies, we’re a team. Whether your guy is active or retired, plays hockey or baseball, we’re a league of our own. We understand one another, we stand by each other. When I’m upset and stressed out, I know exactly who I’d call. They get it, they understand and they let me vent. Listen, at first I didn’t get the whole “hockey wife” term, like you’re his wife, so? But it is honestly so much more than that. I’d like to think a lot of us are kinda like the back bone you know? We hold it down over here! I’ve recently joined a few social networks that cater to the athletes significant other. ‘Spouses in Sports’ has a Twitter and Instagram account as well as a website where I can connect with ladies from all over. It provides a sense of relief and honestly makes me feel at home. There’s also a twitter account titled ‘Wags in real life’, where I get to tweet the hockey life grind using the hashtag #wagsinreallife. It’s so nice to see that there are so many women in the same boat, it’s a sisterhood, a refuge, a place of our own.
I honestly love this journey! I get to travel almost monthly, and I have had the privilege to connect with some of the most genuine, down to earth people that will forever hold a special place in my heart. I have discovered so much about myself, Todd and others. I’ve developed tougher skin, and gained more patience then I ever had. While it may just be a game to some, to us, it makes up a big chunk of our lives. Yes, there’s enough hockey equipment laying around that I can start my own team, and the hockey smell forever lingers in my nose (ladies I know you know what I’m talking about). But that’s just how it is. That’s the lifestyle, period. This may be our last year, or we may have five more, who knows. But, for right now, I’ll take those game day rituals and superstitions over none at all and I am so friggin’ grateful I get to experience this and everything up to this moment. The memories I have gathered are like no other. So go ahead and scream it out loud, enjoy it, embrace it, live it, love it, and remember it, this _______ wife life.