You don’t know how strong you are until strong is your only option.”

If you know me, you know I love hockey. Truly. Madly. Deeply. But its not just about a sport–its fast pace, excitement, thrill of a goal — no there is more. Hockey brought me and my dad together. From the age of 7 on, he and I would go to endless games at the old Chicago Stadium or watch every single away game possible (home games were not televised until recently in Chicago). Now with my 2 boys, I’m passing down the tradition of Blackhawks hockey just as my father gave to me. So being able to experience not one, but two Stanley Cup victories in our city that, with the exception of the Bulls in the 1990s, has had a drought with success has been amazing. I made it a personal mission to actually touch the Stanley Cup-otherwise known as the holy grail of hockey. So on a sunny summer day, I found a meet and greet in the suburbs, dressed my boys, and after begging and pleading to let us in ( they decided to stop the line an hour early and I was not too proud not to start crying), I was able to touch the cup.

Frozen Courage

In the days after people listed all the ways the players showed their courage by playing through injuries, one might think they are completely insane, but others see it as courage. In the face of pain and adversity, four players battled through the following in just the final series: broken rib, torn cartilage and muscles in the ribs, a separated shoulder, a Grade two knee sprain, a bad back and a mild concussion. The grit and dedication shows you that either they are crazy or they have set a goal they must achieve and nothing will stand in their way.

How is this relevant to me?

Now we all don’t have to suffer through pain to earn a few million dollars and the chance to hoist a 34-pound chalice while on ice skates. But we all have faced challenges that push us to find the courage we desperately need. We have all had physical, emotional and/or mental pain. We have had road blocks that seem endless, but we also know that one sister that keeps going and going. The above quote about strength seems to sum up all of us at one point.

Courageous ‘Cathy’

You know her, courageous Cathy. She is your sister, roommate, neighbor, friend, relative or co-worker. She is the one who is always there, ready to help, nothing bothers her, if it’s a challenge, she faces it head on. You wonder… how can she DO that??? Doesn’t she ever let it get to her? On a college campus, she is the amazing sister and officer we all would love to have in the chapter or the advisor that has it all together… or the volunteer you see doing it all. But its not some special formula. No, it’s a dedication to people, an organization, and its mission. It’s clearing outstanding business by Dec. 1, getting reports in on time, planning and executing events on campus, and all the while, remembering to live the values that our founders set for us.

So while we don’t all suffer through the pain of injury for a moment of glory, we all have our own Cup to hoist. It might be an SOE award, campus award or just a thank you from a collegian. As our officers are winding down and new fresh faces are waiting in the wings, we have to remember their trials, courage, dedication and determination with all the challenges they will face. We remember our personal challenges and work through them.

Me and my boys with the Stanley Cup

Me and my boys with the Stanley Cup



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One Response to Cup of Courage

  1. Jennifer Peterson says:

    I loved your post A! What a great idea that everyday courage in us doesn’t have to be as well-known or huge in the eyes of celebrity, but can be simple and encouraging.

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