To accomplish something 50 times means that you have, at least, some idea of what you are doing. You have been around the block a time, and soon to be two. 50 is a great milestone number that says I have failed, I have won, I have learned, and I have grown, but there is much, much more to come.
On the same day, two of my teammates received their 1st cap, and to be honest with you, the first thought that popped into my head was, “I’m glad that isn’t me.” Don’t get me wrong, I was proud and happy for each of them to begin this journey. But as I stood there with 50 caps under my belt, I did not envy the challenges and lessons that they will soon face and learn while playing caps 1-49 of international hockey.
Some examples include; the ability to calm your nerves during the National Anthem as the reality of what you are playing for, and who you are playing against, hits you like a brick; the ability to perform in a game that is going at least 60miles faster than what you are used to (simply put, the ability to run around like a chicken whose head has not been cut off); the ability to understand that you are just as important to this team as the player with 222 caps; and most importantly, the ability to understand that you are a part of something much, much bigger than yourself.
It isn’t like 50 caps makes you a master of these abilities by any means, but there has been enough failure and success to have, at least, some grasp on each of them. I know that the next milestone to 100 caps will have its challenges, but I look forward to the journey, and plan to cherish every step along the way.
Congrats Kelsey and Alyssa on your first caps! Many more to come.