It was -20 degrees Celsius, I was set on the idea of staying in bed and enjoying a scorching hot cup of tea to melt my insides while enduring the same TV series I have spent the last month of my life watching. But of course anytime you make the executive decision to stay home and relax something always comes up.
I receive a message from a group chat that consists of 22 very Canadian boys. The message reads: "Anyone for some puck tonight?" - Translate that to regular English, it's asking if anyone wants to play a game of Ice Hockey. As the messages flow in all the boys are sounding pretty excited. The clocks in my head were going off deciding if this is something I am happy to sacrifice my tea and Netflix for.
After some thought I decided to go. I grab my Hockey sticks and skates, throw on my boots and jacket and head out the door only to realize my car has covered in a solid foot of snow. Almost as if I could have taken a shovel to the roof of my car, it seemed like the only way to unbury it. Though not only was it covered but the only way I was driving it anywhere is if I cleared all the snow surrounding my vehicle. No joke, it took me about 40 minutes to get my car out of all this snow even with the help of my wonderful father. It seemed crazy that I put myself though that just for a game of Ice Hockey in the freezing cold. It took me a solid 2 minutes to get to the location of the rink where all the boys were passing the puck around and warming up. So I throw on my skates and go join them. Only to realize that these boys are rough, but then again Hockey is rough but it went from mellow to aggressive, like 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds.
I made the decision to leave the ice and pick up my camera, I will take photo’s instead. While doing so my mind extends to thoughts of how Canada is so different to where I grew up. Looking at these boy’s playing hockey and having fun in -20 weather surrounded by snow and ice. It’s pure dedication. To think that 8 years ago when I lived home in South Africa if it dropped even below 20 degrees I would be smothered in a sweater drinking hot chocolate inside with a heater.
When people think of Canada, they think of these 5 things: Canadians are all polite, they all say the word Eh, they love hockey, there are moose everywhere and they all eat maple syrup on a daily basis. While some of that is true and some of it not, one thing I should add in there is these Canadians are mighty tough. These Hockey boys have passion and drive for a sport that is so well loved, well, either that or they are all just bloody nuts.
Needless to say after 10 minutes my hands had lost all feelings, so I had to sadly put away the camera and somehow gather feeling back. Maybe after some more practise I will attempt another cold night of puck.