I just read an article on Rich Clune, of the Nashville Predators that told the story of his battle with alcohol and drug addiction. Most importantly, the story spoke of redemption, recovery, and dream chasing. It seems like he needed to face his own demon/demons, and slay his greatest adversary before he could accomplish his goal of playing in the NHL. It seems that he had to slay this nefarious shadow that had haunted him for so many years before he could become the true version of himself, the one that had been in there all along.
This one goes out to you, dreamer. This one is dedicated to the kid shooting pucks at a coffee can out in the back yard, while the rest of the world spins on. This is for that kid who they said would never make it. It's for the one they laughed at. It's for the one who wasn't afraid to be real, to be passionate, to be a hockey player. If you are reading this now, and thinking I'm talking to you, I am. This one is for you.
A long, long time ago in the middle of Montana, I played Junior hockey for a team called the Great Falls Americans in the now defunct America West Hockey League. I was eighteen years old, just a boy, and this is where I learned how to fight. The gap between an eighteen year old and a twenty year old was so vast and canyonesque during that eventful year out west, and so I learned to fight and compete against men. It was here in the middle of mountains that I found my courage, strength, and belief in myself as a person and as a hockey player. It was here where I became a man.
Thoughts run rampant `round the skull, day in and day out, during a hockey season. The weeks fly by. We practice and we play. We rest for a day, and then we are right back at it. We are here now, right in the thick of things. It's approaching mid-January, and we are well into the season. But we are far from close to that end goal, that prize waiting at the end, that elusive trophy, that shining silver brilliance.
I'm on the road right now. We forged through a vast snow storm, had a game cancelled, and ate giant steaks cooked perfectly rare, and now I'm banging away on the keyboard in a hotel in Glen Falls, NY. The snow is piling up outside of my window. We are in town to play the Phantoms tomorrow, and I wanted to get a few words down for you RRReaders out there.
I am wearing my lucky black suit today with my lucky black tie that has different sized circles on it. I hope it brings me luck today. I think for a moment about last game; yes, I played pretty damn good that game, and yes, I was wearing this same lucky outfit. And then everything slows. That's all it takes to stop worrying and fussing about “what if's” and “what have you's”. I take a deep breath as I hang my jacket in my locker, and I know it and embrace it: today is going to be a good day, a good game, a safe game, a lucky game, a fun game, my game. I keep pumping positive affirmations into my brain. I'm going to be an impact player today. I will fight today. I will score today. I will be my very best today. I will be excellent.
My alarm clock has a hissy fit, beeping and vibrating—shrieking; as soft rays of sunlight pour through tiny slits in the blinds that cover the window. My own tiny slits softly open. I look around the room, and see my cat, left paw twitching rhythmically, as he dreams of great mice hunts and pastoral adventures. Everything feels pretty good. The body isn't too sore. My head is clear. I feel good. I feel positive. I feel happy.
As my feet hit the floor, I say aloud, “Thank you.” And I mean it too. And then I say, “I'm going to be excellent today.” And I mean that too. I read The Secret once and it told me that I can manifest my own reality through my thoughts and actions. I suppose that is true, and so I try to think positive thoughts, and do the right things that put me on the right path to accomplishing my goals. Then I repeat this. Do this every day, and maybe somewhere along the line the manifestation will take place. I see it more as a slow and methodical chipping away at resistance that holds you back from your true potential. Chip away every single day. Dig deeper and deeper, and pick up momentum. And at some point it will happen. You sculpt your own destiny. You will reach your destination, and you will achieve your goal. At least that's what we all hope for. And you have to believe it with all your heart for it to happen. You can't tiptoe along the fence in matters of destiny and dream chasing. You must dive head first into that lush green pasture of dreams just on the other side of the fence, and though you can't see it, you have to believe it is there, and your landing will be soft, and just, and perfect.
Stanley Cup of Chowder ran an Article on their website called “Ask a P-Bruin: Submit Your Questions For Bobby Robins”. This gave fans an opportunity to fire away, and ask anything.
I wanted to treat this as a writing experiment and actually answer the questions in depth, as well as provide creative content. In a lot of Q and A articles with pro athletes, it seems like stale answers and surface topics are the norm. You end up hearing a lot of, "we gave it our best shot out there" and "the team played hard tonight", or sometimes even the dreaded self-gloating and self-references in the third person. And in rare occasions, you hear self-gloating, self-references in the third person, and a third person self-gloating reference using a nickname. Very rare, but I've seen it done. "The Robinator brought it tonight. The Robinator brings it every night. Cuz that's what the Robinator does. He brings the pain. Cuz he's the Robinator."
We all have good days and we all have bad days. We have days where we are firing on all cylinders, clicking, buzzing, emitting vast clouds of potent energy out into the world. We know and embrace those special days, and acknowledge when we are lucky enough to experience that. We live out that day in the Zone, and go to bed, curious(or oblivious) to what the next day will hold.
We wake, and wait, and see what comes our way.
I'm trying to break this pattern. I'm tired of being on top of the world one day, and dangling in space at the tip of some Antarctic icicle the next, jutting out into oblivion at the bottom of this spinning orb. I'm tired of inconsistency. Aren't we supposed to be at our best every day? Is that even possible?