People are often surprised to find out that my shoe-obsessed self is as passionate about hockey as I am stilettos. On more than one occasion I’ve been asked “how is a girl like you into hockey?!” The truth is, is that hockey has intertwined itself throughout my entire life. It has everything to do with my hero, my dad. You can read about him, here.

The infamous Mr. P!

Spending my early years living outside of DC, Father-Daughter dates consisted of dad and I going to Caps games together.

Pajamas were exclusively dad’s old hockey jerseys for my entire childhood.

I began developing my chirping skills when we moved to New Jersey.

The first fight I ever got into was with a boy at recess. You better believe I flipped his shirt over his head.

When the family moved back to Virginia (as I was starting middle school), a part of the moving criteria was to be in an area with a men’s league for my dad to play in and ref for.

Wearing Dad's jersey as I opened up my Xmas stocking. 6th grade.

Things were pretty good, but life threw the Pods a curveball when I got cancer. Twice. I received an unbelievable amount of support from friends, and family. But I also received support from pretty much every hockey team my dad has ever played for. Hockey families look after one another, it’s just what we do. The number of years that pass doesn’t matter.

I was finally healthy. Went to high school. My dad refereed my classmates. The tales that were told at the dinner table were hysterical. My friends liked when my dad reffed because my dad “let them play.”

After high school, I went to James Madison University. Honestly, I did not keep up with hockey too much during this time. I was too busy pushing my liver to its limits.

When I joined the real world, I very quietly kept hockey tabs following the NHL.

Then I stopped being quiet. In fact, I got quite loud. If you don’t know who my team is, you don’t know me. BRUINS!!!!!

In the summer of 2012, and my parents were contacted by Brad Robinson, the owner of The Richmond Generals. This discussion led to my family billeting two players, Eric Tien and Eric Masters for a season. My dad ended up helping out with some of the coaching. Those boys are a part of the family forever.

Eric Tien, myself, Eric Masters

With such a positive experience the previous season, my parents decided to billet again (2013-2014). My dad is also assistant coaching, focusing on the Generals’ defense.

Currently, (2015-2016) my parents are acting as a "halfway house" for players in the sense that they are billeting short term until the player(s) find permanent housing. My dad is still assistant coaching.

Anyone who is affiliated with The Generals, and/or has been to dinner at my parents house for “family dinner” knows that you're guaranteed hockey stories, and endless chirping. Nobody is ever safe, and the only thing we all ever agree on is the level of distaste we have for the Flyers.

So through the fights, the chirping, the blood, and the glory...I associate hockey with family. That is why I love it.