I've been kind of an asshole.
I go on rants about the shitty things guys say while I'm playing hockey against them and I talk a lot about the sexism still in hockey.
What I've failed to do is acknowledge the good ones.
For as many daft comments I've heard and as many men I've run into who claim I don't belong, there's PLENTY of guys who don't give a shit about my ponytail.
My teammates are these guys. I've been so damn lucky to land myself on three men's league teams who welcome me with open arms. I've been playing with some of my teammates for over five years and from day one they've never batted an eye at me being a girl.
All I've ever wanted is just to blend in. If I'm standing out, I want it to be because I'm killing it in the crease. My teammates let me do this by simply treating me as one of the guys. That's it.
I change in the same dressing room, I toss out chirps, I get chirped, I keep up with them drinking beer and, most importantly, I keep up with them on the ice.
The only time I've ever been treated differently by my teammates is when one of them bought hair elastics to carry around in his bag for me because I always lost mine.
I'm so grateful for my teammates and every other guy out there who's man enough to not care what gender the goalie in the crease is.
The best teammate of all, though? Is the one in the center of this photo. The one who is my biggest cheer leader. The one who points at me after he scores a goal and makes me smile like an idiot and then I yell at him in the car after because he shouldn't make me giddy when I'm trying to be in the zone. The one who listens to me complain about defensive lapses and the bad games I have. The one who reassures me when I get down on myself. The one knows I struggle with wanting to blend in while still being proud of myself for being a strong woman. The one who's proud to call me his goalie and his girl.
My teammates will never fully understand how much I appreciate the way they treat and respect me, but they'll keep doing it anyways because they're good human beings. Find yourself those kind of teammates. - 1 day ago