Updated: Feb 27
Badassery Definition from Oxford Languages:
Behavior, characteristics, or actions regarded as formidably impressive.
That is a beautiful sentence.
This past weekend I was able to take part in a Women's Ice Hockey Clinic put on at Great Park Ice and FivePoint Arena. This is the practice facility for the Anaheim Ducks, and it is an AMAZING facility. It even has a restaurant with a full bar, but I digress.
The Anaheim Ducks have done an amazing job with their hockey outreach programs - making hockey more accessible, more visible and more inviting. One of the great things about their program is their learn to play clinics; these clinics are FREE. They even provide hockey gear if you don't have any.
When I got the email to attend an all Women's Hockey Clinic I jumped at the opportunity! Most of you know that I ruptured my hamstring in 2021 playing in a Rookie Hockey League with my husband. And by ruptured, I mean I tore that bad chicken completely off my butt bone. That was fun. I had a successful surgery that reattached it using titanium anchors. I spent 7 months in physical therapy letting them regrow themselves and then strengthening them. They are happily at 100% and I am beyond happily jumping on the ice again.
Though with an appropriate respect for my butt.
Anyway - in this session, I was surrounded by women. Some who had played a lot, some who had played a bit, and some who had never held a hockey stick. And can I tell you - each one of these women embodied the term BADASSERY!
There was this great chick behind me, who'd never played, and the first thing we had to do was take a knee. Now if you've never been on ice, let alone on hockey skates (no toe pick!) then taking a knee on the ice is scary, lest you are never able to get back up. That's the first thing they teach you; so we spent a good 5 minutes taking a knee and getting up, taking two knees and getting up, putting our sticks above our heads while we got up from two knees. Each time, she took longer than everyone else to get up. But each time, she didn't quit. Each time, she pushed until she was able to stand up. And EVERYONE encouraged her, cheered her on and DELIGHTED in her success. SHE is a Bad Ass. And all those who were by her side, are also bad asses. She was, formidably impressive.
The session included skating drills such as 3 on 3, picking up tires (small ones!) puck handling and an obstacle course. Each station had its own coach, and each coach out there was just completely rad. Encouraging each player as they navigated different stages of drills. Whether I successfully made a (very slow) goal, or came out of the tunnel on my back with my legs in the air flailing, I felt nothing but encouraged. We were dripping sweat, grinning from ear to ear, fist bumping each other, and helping each other up when we fell.
We were coached by Olympic Swiss Ice Hockey Team member Keely Moy and Anaheim Ducks captain (retired) Ryan Getzlaf.
It would have been perfectly normal to be intimidated. But there was none of that on the ice. The environment was encouraging and powerful.
I like the word bad ass, and even more so, badassery. When I go back to the definition I shared above, I can see how it applied to everyone on that ice. It doesn't just apply to the strongest and perfect people. It applies to all who face adversity. All who keep on going. All who try something they've never done before. All who are willing to fail and get back up. It especially applies to those who have endured and/or conquered something and who then take the time to help others.
I am definitely rambling, I am still on such a great high from the weekend. I just wanted to share how completely amazing it was to be surrounded by women stepping out of their comfort zone, getting on the ice, and encouraging and pushing each other.
Today we need more of that - more encouragement, less judgement. More teamwork and less self-absorption.
We just need more badassery!