Hello world! Or more realistically…..Hello close friends and family!

I created this blog to share my thoughts and feelings as I journey through life. Until recently I have been very apprehensive about blogging. I desperately want to avoid writing a blog in which I sell myself as a ‘nothing can ever get me down’, ‘my grass is green even in the Artic’…. kinda gal. Not to say that I will be throwing myself a pity party on every blog post either. I attack life with determination and vigour, the world is my oyster and this attitude will be reflected in my posts. However, I’m not going to use this blog as a string to display my shiny pearls. I want to share the story of how each pearl was made, the work and failures that go into it, because that’s what makes it truly valuable. So after much deliberation here I am, staying true to my life motto of “nothing ventured, nothing gained” and journeying into the blogosphere.

I hope to blog about all different aspects of my life, however as field hockey plays such an important role I can see it taking centre stage. I also want to blog about field hockey because I find the life of an amateur athlete quite perplexing. We put ourselves through such mental and physical strain, not motivated by money, but driven by the love of the sport and the goal of reaching the pinnacle of success, the Olympic Games. The world of amateur sports seems to sit at an awkward juxtaposition to the ‘real world.’ Your pursuit of excellence in the sporting world helps you develop work ethic and other related characteristics that are transferrable to the ‘real world’, but success in your athletic career doesn’t directly lead to success in the world. Therefore the motivation behind striving to reach the Olympic Games is so pure. It validates years of hard work, and pretty much putting our lives on hold, to play the game we love, and for 2 weeks you are one of the top athletes in your sport. For the moment my absolute focus in life is reaching the 2016 Olympic Games. I must admit to having occasional life reviews when I realize there is a world outside of field hockey, and that one day I need a career that will most probably be totally unrelated to my sporting career. These conversations usually end up with the conclusion: until I have suppressed my appetite of reaching the 2016 Olympics there is little room for me to focus on much else. I’m 23, I’ve got time for the rest of life.

The awkward parallel position where I believe amateur sports to lie in the ‘real world’, leads me to another puzzle piece of my life, school. I am currently a Kinesiology student at UBC Vancouver, and although I recognize and appreciate a good education, I would be lying if I said field hockey, and more specifically the Olympics, weren’t in the forefront of my mind. When I take a step back to look at the balance between education and my athletic career, I find myself viewing  school as some kind of a side bar. The viewpoint on my degree is not to gain knowledge and guide me towards my future career, but a necessary step to check off so I can focus on something currently far more important, the Olympics. Those on the team that aren’t pushing through an undergrad degree are focused on playing, and working part time or a flexible full time job that allows them to travel with the team. My point being even after earning a degree, no one is on the fast track to a career, and to be fair I don’t think you can be. I believe this leads us to depreciate our undergrad degrees.   We don’t view our degrees as building towards our career, or our pathway to the future, just an obstacle to navigate. Maybe this is only a field hockey player’s perspective on education while playing as the longevity of our careers allows us to attend school while playing?

This very bold opinion of how I believe field hockey players view undergraduate degrees is a beautiful segue into my next point…. Whether I’m reviewing struggles with injuries, or sharing something that has inspired me, or in the previous case a sharing a somewhat outspoken opinion…… all thoughts, feelings and opinions are completely my own.

Well there you have it, my first blog post…the ramblings of Abi Raye

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