My name is Barry O’Neil and I am thankful for the game of hockey.
This Thanksgiving take a few minutes and think about all the people who helped you get where you are today and spend some time calling, emailing, or texting them to let them know you’re thankful.
I got a text today from one of our player’s parents, she thanked me for everything CCH has done to help her son on and off the ice. We got a lot of these thank you notes after the summer camp ended. I wish I had saved the texts/emails to share but unfortunately I didn’t think to do so at the time! I can’t remember exactly what they all said, but I can remember the way they made me feel. I felt excited, proud, happy, sad, and thankful to receive all these messages from our campers and their parents. I was excited that we had a successful summer, proud to see the growth in so many young hockey players, happy to see so many smiling faces at the rink, sad that it had to come to an end, and thankful for the opportunity to create an environment where players could feel comfortable and enjoyed learning about the game of hockey.
I am thankful for the game of hockey. My entire life hockey has been my focus. Regardless of age, as long as I can remember, hockey has been my passion. It has been an escape from reality, a playground, an office, a spot to relax, a training ground, a classroom, and a home. The game of hockey has taught me a lot and made me who I am today. It taught me about passion, friendship, what effort really is, doing extra, how to be apart of a team, patience, what it takes to be successful, and about fortune.
If you are fortunate enough to play hockey that says enough about your life. It means you have parents, relatives, and friends who support you and will continue to do so. It means you have sacrificed what others are scared to do to achieve a goal. It means you understand what it takes to show up early, commit to something bigger than you, and give it your all. If you have played hockey, be thankful, it has taught you a lot.
I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and are fortunate to spend it with those you hold close.