So, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I got my start in hockey. Basically when I was five years old my parents told me they wanted to put me in an activity, the rules were as follows: I could choose whatever I wanted, but I had to at least give it a good try before deciding whether I truly liked it or not. If I really didn’t like it, I could quit and try something else. Well, my first choice and basically only choice was of course hockey. Not only because my cousins played it but because I loved watching it and that’s pretty much the only thing I ever wanted to try. So, my parents signed me up for hockey and we got my gear and then off we went to my very first practice; which also happened to be my very first time on hockey skates. So, here I am, this tiny five-year old girl out on the ice for the very first time with mainly all boys who had been skating for at least a year or more. Well, I felt pretty lost and what made it even worse was that the first two steps I took onto the ice… I fell and well let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. My stick flew, my gloves flew and yeah I was very embarrassed and very shaken up. Just as I started to cry and try to gather my stuff, one of the coaches came over, grabbed my stuff and pulled me to my feet. He told me “it’s okay we’ll go over here and have some fun” or something to that detail basically making me feel like I wasn’t totally alone. That moment right there was pretty much the reason I even gave hockey a second chance. He dusted me off and put me right back on my feet again and off I went. He helped me get the hang of things and just like that I fell in love with hockey… no matter how many times I fell because I knew all’s I had to do was get right back up. I also made quite a few friends despite being one of the few girls on the whole ice. We had different age groups practice at the same time so there were quite a few youngsters on the ice at one time. As the years went by I noticed something, everyone thinks that boys and girls can’t play sports together. Well when you have high schoolers together that may be the case but when you have a bunch of kids around the age of 8 or younger there really isn’t an issue at all, at least with the kids. The parents are what make the issue, to the kids it doesn’t really matter as long as they are nice. I made a lot of friends whose parents didn’t really like that I played hockey with their boys…but myself and the few other girls continued to play despite what some parents thought. At the time I really didn’t understand what the big deal was and to be honest, I’m still not really sure what the big deal is. Let little kids be little kids and have fun playing a sport, it shouldn’t matter their gender until they get to the age where physicality becomes involved, then separate but before then.. just let them have fun and make friends.