From the Locker-room
Hi there, my name is Darren McKague. I am a 6’ 3", 200 lb hockey player. I started playing hockey at age 7 when my Dad bought me all the equipment needed. I had never been on the ice in skates before and spent my first year just learning to stay on my feet.
Throughout the winter, however, my Dad and I went to the local skating rink and I practiced for many hours. It paid off as the next year I was awarded "Most Valuable Player" for my whole League. I also experienced my first hockey injury at the same time.
All the kids who were awarded trophies had to walk across the ice to accept their award. Being kids they were eager and would run across the ice (wearing shoes not skates). They announced that everyone should walk across not run. When it came to my turn I did what everyone else did and went too fast. I slipped and banged my knee; I was down for a good 5 minutes then rose up to applause and my MVP trophy.
That is what started my journey into the hockey world and I haven’t looked back since.
I have experienced many things, and met many different kinds of people. Hockey is a demanding way of life with lots of barriers to overcome. I would not trade it for anything.
I have played teams from around the world and have learned the importance of discipline, training, eating right and most important being part of a team.
Many people don’t get to experience some of the things an athlete does. A team is like a second family and one of the greatest thrills for me is going through the easy times and the hard times, towards one goal. When you achieve that goal with your "family" there is no greater feeling.
I will be giving you more insight on what it’s like to be an athlete, the work, pain and politics, the highs and the lows. An idea of what it takes to play the world’s fastest game, hockey.
Today I am leaving for Germany with my team (the Oakville Blades Junior A part of the Ontario Provicial Junior Hockey League). We will be representing Canada as part of a European Hockey Tour spending the next 16 days playing professional teams in both Northern Italy and Germany in an Exhibition Tournament.
Traveling by bus, staying in hotels, playing against new and different teams and also visiting and experiencing the culture all with my new "family" will definitely be one of the highs of being an athlete. This is some of the payoff for all the hard work.
So next time you hear from me I will have much to tell and hopefully some funny stories as well.
Until next time.
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