I can’t believe that the game ended just yesterday! When I was driving away from the rink yesterday, all I could think was, “Did I just dream that?” It was a truly surreal experience and if I didn’t have the blisters to prove otherwise, I would really be wondering!
I’m still pretty exhausted, even though I slept a full 8 hours last night after I had a 6 hour nap yesterday afternoon! I did, in fact, go to work today1, but I spent the entire day catching up on all the emails that came in while I was away, as well as making sure to take some breaks to stretch my legs. I don’t think it’s very good to go from 9 hours per day of intense physical activity to 0!
Anyway, while there is still so much more to say about the game, I’m too exhausted to say it all today, so instead I want to say a bunch of “thank yous.” I’m sure that I’m going to forget to thank someone because there were so many people that made this event possible and I’m still all sleep-deprived and not thinking straight, so please forgive me if I forget to thank you! In no particular order, I would like to thank:
- Val Skelly, our fearless leader who came up with the idea for this game, who inspired us all to play for this cause that is so near and dear to her heart and worked so unbelievably hard to make her vision a reality. I will always be inspired by her leadership, her vision, her positivity and her great sense of humour!
- The entire committee that organized this event. The amount of time and effort that went into pulling this off was astronomical and each and every one of the committee members was doing this on a voluntary basis, in addition to their already busy lives!
- Meaghan Wong, one of the leads for the volunteers, who bent over backwards on an hourly basis to get the players whatever they needed or wanted to keep them going. From finding us pizza at 3 in the morning simply because I tweeted that we wanted some to having a physiotherapist come onsite to treat us on the Sunday of a long weekend, Meaghan was an absolute rock star!
- Jen Graham, another one of the lead volunteers, who was also always bending over backwards to help out the players, whether it was getting us food, doing our laundry or putting up inspiration sticky notes in the dressing room2.
- Brian Wong, our chef extraordinaire, who kept 40 very hungry athletes fed at all hours of the day and night for 10 solid days, accommodating us in every way and always making sure that the players came first!
- Scott Tait, the organizer of RV World3, the keeper of the score and the playing schedules, the chauffeur to the hospital for injured players, the man who found players to fill in when the injured/sick players couldn’t keep going, and I’m sure many other tasks that I didn’t even know of. And he never once got annoyed when I continually asked him, “How many goals have I scored now, Scott?”
- Burnaby 8 Rinks Physiotherapy, who donated their services free of charge to the players throughout the game. I don’t think that I could have made it, especially after the horrific experience that was Day 3, without their services!
- All the massage therapists who also donated their time to keep the players able to move. As with the physiotherapy, I don’t think I could have made it without my hip flexors being stretched out and my psoas muscle being released!
- The zamboni drivers, who managed to clean the ice in record time, sometimes as fast as six and half minutes (instead of the usual 10:15) so that we could meet the Guinness Record requirements of no more than 10 minutes break after every hour of play.
- The refs who volunteered their time to come out to the rink at all hours of the day and night, working in 4 hour shifts in our freezing cold arena, getting many a blister themselves, to make sure that the game could go on!
- Tash & Jamie, our bootcamp trainers. I don’t think anyone else could have gotten me to “sprint” that mile twice a week! Thanks for your patience with us!
- All of the many, many volunteers who made this event possible. Whether it was blowing the beloved/despised air horn to ensure we kept to the rigid playing/ice cleaning break schedule required by Guinness, serving us our meals, going on Tim Horton’s runs to get us a caffeine fix, staffing the reception desk/security/silent auction, provided us with much needed first aid for our many wounds, or doing a myriad of other behind the scenes tasks, we could not have achieved this momentous accomplishment without your support. I was especially touched by the families who came out to volunteer – it was so amazing to see kids out volunteering with their parents – such an amazing thing for parents to instill volunteerism into their children’s lives. Special thanks to my friends who came out to volunteer – Lianna, Krista Lee, Ryan, and Sandy, you all rock my world!
- All the families with CF who came out to support and encourage us. Your words moved us deeply and helped keep us grounded as to why we were doing this crazy thing in the first place. When the sleep-deprivation and the pain got bad, it was so important to hear your words to remind us that what we were doing was so much bigger than ourselves and quickly made us realize that while we were suffering, it was very minor compared to what CF patients and their families go through. Your strength gave us strength.
- All my friends who came to visit me. You provided me with such strength and many laughs and made it possible for me to keep going, because I knew you were behind me all the way. In addition to Lianna, Krista Lee, Ryan and Sandy, there was Heather, Kalev, Linda, Casey, Chris, Deb, Candace, Roger, Hannan, Henley, Monica, Erika, Paul, Tanis, Matt4, Kim, Lance, Martha, Andrew, Joanie, Clayton, Sheri & Lindy – your presence at the game means more to mean than I can ever express. Heather, Chris & Deb, and Erika, the cookies, cake and brownies that you baked for me and my fellow players were absolutely delicious and very much appreciated! Kalev, Joanie & Martha, the medical supplies (and the mocha from Martha!) you brought were life savers! Clayton, the Timmy Ho’s coffee that you brought me before my final 4 hour session pepped me up like I cannot even explain! Lianna & Krista Lee, who brought me more things than I can even remember, from medical supplies to blankets to chocolate milk and diet Pepsi to a McDonald’s breakfast, I owe you both big time!
- All my friends who could not be with me in person, but who kept supporting me from a far. My parents who watched the livestream of the game pretty much 24/7; my sister Nancy who did as well and whose constant stream of text messages supporting and encouraging me; Dan, who also watched and whose tweets kept my spirits up; and Sarah who also watched the livestream constantly5 and whose brilliant idea to donate $1 per goal I scored6 then inspired *six* other people to do the same!
- All the people who donated to my fundraising efforts – currently at $4,131.72 and counting! You helped me surpass my fundraising goal and you have truly made a difference in the lives of people living with CF.
- All of my amazing teammates, on both the White and the Red Teams. We were all in this together and I know that I have made 39 amazing life-long friends!
Also, I have to say that I am absolutely in love with the song “Barbra Streisand” by Duck Sauce. I don’t think I’d ever heard it before the game7, but it was played many times during the game and was an awesome song to skate to!
- As Sarah put it, I am my father‘s daughter! [↩]
- Those inspiration sticky notes really did help keep me going! [↩]
- Which is what we called the fenced in area that housed the RVs we lived in for 10 days, the food tent and the massage therapy area; also known as “the trailer park.” [↩]
- See Matt, I do remember your name right away when I’m less sleep deprived! [↩]
- To the point that her toddler son would see the computer and say “Aunt Beth play hockey? I watch! I clap!” [↩]
- After she had already made a generous donation very early on in my fundraising efforts [↩]
- Though Wikipedia tells me that it was featured in an episode of Glee, so I suppose if I watched that show, I’d know it [↩]