I grew up playing Hockey in the UK and my main rink was Guildford.
Twenty minutes drive from my childhood home and one of the best programs in the country. The program has one championships in each age group and at the time of joining was under the guidance of Ex-NHL'er, Fred Perlini.
I played for the organisation from seven till fourteen. It was at fourteen I left mid-season due to lack of ice time and a great depth of players pool. At fourteen I was naive and I believed that the coaches had it out for me (as a coach now this is just ridiculous) and so I said F you and left for Romford. After a season in Romford, I moved to Bracknell, where I was with some other ex-Guildford guys and to my parents joy it was closer to home.
The old saying, "The grass isn't always greener", can play true.
I remember just hating Hockey. Physically, emotionally and mentally hating Hockey. There came a time where I had to take stock of what was going on around me. I was sixteen and in a strange series of events I came back to Guildford.
However, it wasn't exactly that easy.
Guildford were now leading the league and on the way to the championship. The team was stacked and the group in the dressing room was tight knit.
But, more importantly two years prior I had burned some bridges.
When I approached Guildford to come back:
"If you want to play here you have to prove that you are willing to work harder than anyone else"
I realised the errors of my ways. I had to work harder than anyone else in practice and do whatever I could if I wanted to apart of this organisation again.
I was on the back foot, and more than the coaches, I had to gain the respect of my teammates. Difficult to do.
However, thanks to arguably the best coach, hockey brain and gentleman, Milos Melicherick, I was able to rekindle my love and passion for the game.
So here's the ice lesson for today: When you think that it's better elsewhere or you think that everyone is out to get you. Stop. Think and look at yourself.
After you've been truly honest with yourself.
Then you can say F you.
But, at one stage you will need to cross back to the bridge on the other side.
Don't light it on fire if you can't swim.