Shoot on net
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My husband and I raised our kids in the land of hockey. This column is not about hockey.
I realize hockey isn’t a thing or perhaps not as popular in some (warmer) climates, but for many years, for us, hockey was a large part of life. If nothing else, it got us through the cold winters.
Between our three boys, we spent two decades with the sport.
Despite my years of watching the Zamboni resurface the ice, shivering in the the arena stands, sampling hot cocoa from all over the state, lacing up little kid’s skates and cheering like only a mom can (sometimes with cowbells), it took me a long time to learn even a little about the sport. I relived my rookie season year after year.
Blue lines, red lines, forechecking and back checking? It was all French Canadian to me.
My husband was not a rookie. He knew the sport inside and out. But he had a way of whittling that down to the basic facts. One of his favorite pieces of hockey advice was pretty simple:
Good. Things. Happen. When. You. Shoot. On. Net.
He spat the words out just like that. As though each word was its own sentence.
He said it almost every game. It was like a mantra: Good things happen when you shoot on net.
His message? Take the shot. The puck won’t go into the net if you don’t shoot it in that general direction. And nothing, absolutely nothing, will happen if you don’t shoot at all.
Sometimes, in life, we have the opportunity to shoot for the net, but we hesitate. We are afraid. We pause.
We might even be distracted, unaware that the net is right in front of us. We may not even realize we are holding a stick or a bat or a ball. We may not even be aware of the net.
But it is there. It is in front of us. Perhaps for eons. Perhaps for just a fleeting moment.
This moment has a name: opportunity.
Life is filled with it - with them: opportunities. If we seize the moment. If we see the net. If we shoot.
We. Just. Might. Score.
Maybe not, but maybe so. But here’s one fact that is 100% true:
If we don’t take the shot, it ain’t going to happen.
My husband was a wise man. He continues teaching me even today. I’m thankful for that.
I heard his words over and over throughout the years. Maybe my ears were too frozen to hear them.
Or, maybe I simply wasn’t aware of them, much like we may not be aware of our own proverbial net. Or realize that that we are on a breakaway, racing toward it at full speed, on recently sharpened skates with a stick in our gloved hands guiding the puck across the ice right in front of us.
I am aware now. I remember his words and I am cognizant of their wisdom. I will heed his advice to the best of my ability. Life is short. I’m going for the hat trick.
I encourage you to do the same.
Whether you go top shelf or for the five hole, take the shot.
Shoot on net. Good things will happen.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.