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*Worth a Thousand Words

*Worth a Thousand Words
Memorable Quotes
Captured moments...
Seasons Re-lived
Not a big fan but a True Believer
Believe
A Poetic Voice
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Believe

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I wrote this essay for my English class in high-school, we had to write about some kind of life-changing event and of course hockey was the first thing that popped into my head.

Many fans say they were born Canuck fans, but I find that I am categorized under 'destined to be a Canuck fan.' Everyone has their story about how they became a Canucks fan, this is my story...this is why I believe in the Vancouver Canucks...

 

In the course of history, hockey has been known as a sport with toothless Canadians hitting without a purpose. You have the players who play the game hoping that after 60 minutes of gruelling pain they'd leave the ice with a win. Hockey was just a sport, a reason for a group of people to get together to drink beer and have fun. But years have changed and hockey is not just a sport anymore. For most it's just a game to play and a match to watch but for some it can change your life, hockey can help you find who you are.

 

            Grade eight was the year of the metamorphosis, it was a time when we changed, our environment and even our friends changed. My experience was quite different in the sense of internal adaptation, I wasn't going to look into the mirror and find a new me rather I would look into a mirror and stare into the eyes of a stranger. I wasn't going to change who I was because I was in high school rather I didn't even know who I was at all! I felt like I had 2 different personalities, 2 faces, 2 lives and 2 worlds. One of those personalities lurked in the hallways of school, I was the sweet, nice and friendly girl who constantly smiled at whoever walked by. However, the other personality illustrated a different picture, at home I was the opposite of who I depicted at school and I didn't know which girl was really me. Why was I so nice to my friends and yet so angered with my siblings? Why was I silent when I got criticized at school yet at home I scream at my parents? The mirror was shattered and there were even more pieces of me that looked so familiar yet the shape of the glass was different, which piece was my true identity? My persona was never really something I took care of and so I lost it, I lost who I was, I knew finding myself would be even tougher then finding an invisible needle in a hay-stack. I wanted to give up on myself because it was so difficult, I felt like every time I thought I saw myself it was just me being someone else. There was just no hope for me, it was impossible to get pass the defence and score the winning goal. Although there were many to turn to for guidance I thought that if I really wanted to find who I was then the best way to do it is on my own.

            My journey began one Sunday afternoon on February 24th, 2002, my family and I sat down together to watch the Olympic Hockey Gold Medal Final in Salt Lake City. The final match was between the United States and our very own Team Canada. Although I had no real knowledge about the sport I was still fascinated by the reaction of every hockey loving Canadian watching the game, I wanted to know why there was such a great interest in this match. For the first 5 minutes I sat there lost and confused trying to keep an eye on the puck even just for a second. My heart pounded as each team took their shot to victory, close calls on each side but it was the opposing team who prevailed first. The US jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first period after Tony Amonte blasted a shot past goaltender Martin Brodeur on a 2-1 break at the 8:49 mark. I yelled at the TV hoping that the players would hear my cry for a goal, I was really getting into the game, and my emotions ran up so high that I think the players did hear my call. Shortly after Amonte's goal, Canada replied when Paul Kariya converted a Chris Pronger cross-ice pass, tying the game at one. I jumped up in happiness, it felt like they had already won the game, the crowds were chaotic, the American arena was filled with Canadian joy but my heart shone on the smiles given by every player celebrating the goal. Then just under three minutes later, Jarome Iginla knocked in a Joe Sakic pass to put Canada up 2-1 heading into the second period. From that point I felt as if it was just me, myself and I watching the game, their smiles were nothing but a cool breeze that refreshened reality. In fact it was in the first intermission that I learned why this game was so important, so exciting and why it would be so memorable. It had been nearly 50 years since this Canadian game was won by their creators and the players didn't want to wait till it became 51. The second period was scoreless until Brian Rafalski banked a shot off Canadian defenseman Chris Pronger at the 15:30 mark to tie the game at two. My heart just kept beating faster and faster, I held my hands tightly together, rubbing them hard as if a genie would pop out and grant me a wish, it came true. Canada would regain their lead shortly after Joe Sakic wristed a shot through a crowd, off USA defenseman Brian Leetch and past goaltender Mike Richter giving Canada a 3-2 lead with 20 minutes to go. Time was ticking fast but the game seemed so slow, every shot by the Americans stopped my heart from beating but it was goaltender Martin Brodeur who delivered my reincarnations. The score was 5-2 with 1:20 remaining in the last and final period of the Gold Medal game, the fans stood up in ovation as the final seconds endured, the 50 long years were nothing but numbers. The Canadians won and the streets of every Canadian city were filled with fans in red and white screaming "finally," and finally was right. I finally realized something after that game, after I saw those players smile and cry their happy tears, after they stood by their teammates as their national anthem was sung; I realized that this game would forever change my life. 

Immediately after that glorious win I finally saw the brink of my revelation, I watched my first ever full 60 minutes Canucks game, in a matter of time I'd learned a lot of about my home team and who they were. In fact I learned that the 2001-2002 season was a rough season for the Vancouver Canucks with some good reasonable moments that kept the fans up on their feet. For example the homecoming of the most loved Canuck of all-time, Trevor Linden but it was on the last night of the season that proved to be an honour. Vancouver Canucks captain, Markus Naslund tallied his 40th goal and 50th assist, his 90 points put him in second place in NHL points, the highest ever for a Canuck. Line-mate Todd Bertuzzi was right behind him in the standings which was also the first time the Canucks had established two players in the league’s top ten. Similar to their season was my grade eight year, I had those boisterous moments and those blissful occasions, it felt good to know that others were going through the same stages as me. Moreover, I felt so proud of these strangers but I still felt so good and so happy inside, I often wondered how a team of hockey players had the power to make me smile. However, when I first started to watch the team I felt bad for them, even if I’ve only known them for as long as I can remember where I last saw the puck. Unfortunately, they weren't in a very good position winning only one of their six games after the Olympic weekend. Although they kept losing by numerous numbers, I still kept an eye on them awaiting their smiles after they had finally won a game. In doing so I ignited a part of me that would help me find my true identity, something I never really acknowledged before, faith. I had faith in this team, I stood by there side whether the score was 6-1 or 2-0 with only seconds left to play. I don't know why I never left my couch, there was obviously no time for a short miracle but I stayed optimistic about the next game even if they were on a losing streak. Days passed and my faith in the team remained in tact, I felt as if my heart was telling me keep having faith, and so I did. Two days after a horrific 7-4 loss the Canucks began to rebuild, they began to show that with patience, faith can be rewarding. The Canucks finally won a game and ended their ugly losing record, it was a wondrous game won by 5 goals and a terrific goaltender that established a new club record with his 6th shutout of the season. I finally saw them smile a happy smile and I couldn't help but smile myself, I felt so happy, an emotion I previously felt when Team Canada won but this time my feelings felt a little stronger. Eventually the Canucks kept playing that astounding style of play, which brought them to a five-game winning streak and a 13-2-1-0 record to end off the season and begin the post-season. This series, the Canucks managed to win their first 2 games but unfortunately fell short and once again their opponents went off to win the Stanley Cup. It was amazing how I felt about this team, knowing them for only a few months I began to realize that there were parts of me that finally came out of the shadows. For some strange reason I not only had faith in them but in myself, I believed in them so strongly that the faith just radiated throughout my whole body. The pieces of me that were once lost are now beginning to come into place and it was because of this inspiring group of players.

Gradually it was when summer drew near that I took a lot of time to think about who I was, and every time I did the Canucks would immediately pop into my head. It was because of them I began to really have faith in something other than God. I never felt like it helped or it was of any use when it came to hoping a game would be won or hoping for a good grade on a test. Then I began to think about my life and how similar it is to hockey. I want to win, I want to achieve my goals and I want to have fun but then I realized that there was more to hockey then the good stuff. There are the losses, the goals against and the gruelling hits that push us further away from a win. Likewise, that's how life is, it's not a smooth road with a beautiful horizon instead it's a bumpy ride in the midst of fog without sight of what steps you'll be taking next. The Vancouver Canucks know that, all hockey players do, and still they play the next game even though they'd just loss. I was inspired, I began to realize that there was no win without a loss; I began to have faith in finding who I really was because they had faith in themselves no matter what situation. The Vancouver Canucks helped me understand that without the bad things in this world heroes wouldn't be born and miracles wouldn't happen, and sometimes we all need a miracle and a hero in our lives!

The Vancouver Canucks have inspired my faith, which has enabled me to find the aspects of my life that were once hidden in the shadows. Besides, there are things in your life that you have to really reflect on in order to understand and find who you are, even a sport. I thank God for sitting me down on that couch and watching something new, change can sometimes be bad but it can also change your life. There are so many things I learned about myself just by watching a simple sport, my faith has grown, I hope and I believe and now my most favourite things in the world are smiles! You can say that I’m not a big fan of hockey nor my life rather I’m a true believer, as I believe in the Canucks I believe in my life. Although, I may not have found exactly who I am yet, this sport has truly helped me get pass the starting line. Hockey is more than a game, for some it’s a way of life and like the players I’m going to keep fighting for the win in hope to find my meaning and my persona in life. Hockey is my flashlight, I am the switch and God is the battery. It may not shine throughout the whole room but it lights up just enough to show you the next step. In other words, I finally found a title for my book and now all I have to do is write the story.

I'm not much of a poet but I think there's a lot that we can say in poems...You can find some of my very own poems in the link below. I hope you enjoy them =)

My Poems =)

You can also find some of my quotes in the link below =)

Unexpected phrases =P

There's something about having faith in a team, loving a player, that can make you a stronger person, someone who'll stand up to what they believe in even if everyone else shuts them down...