I have this tattoo on my left shoulder:


A few times over the past year or so people have asked me about this tattoo, and specifically if I ever played for Canada.

No. No I did not. I have never played hockey in my life. I don’t skate well.

The tattoo is there for a reason that’s a little hard to explain quickly. The story goes like this:

When I was 14 I went to a hockey game with my sister. I did not expect to enjoy myself. I took a book. As it turns out I did not read that book. From the warm up I was entranced. By the end of the game I had a favourite player and my sister and I were working out a budget to make sure we could attend the rest of the Ottawa 67’s games for that season.

My father bought us season tickets for the next four years, and I bought my own the fifth year, before I move away from home. For my 15 birthday I got a jersey. The next Christmas I got a second one.

I’ve talked before about being suicidal in high school. When I was 16 I made a deal with myself. I would not kill myself until I saw the 67’s win the Memorial Cup. When that happened in 1998 I was feeling much better about everything.

In high school there was a game every Friday night and I had something to cheer for, when they won I had something to feel good about. I had something to hold on to.

I decided that I wanted to work in hockey. I focussed first on being an athletic therapist, and then went to journalism school to be a sports reporter. I got to live a couple of dreams – I did an internship with the Citizen and got to report on the Senators. I interviewed NHLers and had a byline in my city daily.

When I decided that journalism wasn’t for me, I went back to university and got my degree in political science. My background in journalism got me a job at the student paper. That’s where I met my husband. Where we became friends and fell in love.

My background in journalism and poli sci got me my job in politics, which made me some good friends, gave me an experience in Canadian history and gave me a great deal of confidence.

Hockey, put simply, put things in motion for me. It changed my life.

Also, the World Junior Championships is the greatest sporting event of the year.


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