Over the Boards

Over the Boards

Today's blog is going to be a little bit different. Today, I'm going to give you a book review of a book I recently read cover to cover, which is not normal for me, but it was such a good read, that I couldn't put it down. The book is Hayley Wickenheiser's "Over the Boards: Lessons from the Ice."

Growing Up, I followed Hayley, she was a year younger than me, so I feel like we grew up together. One huge difference. When I was six (and Hayley was 5), I wanted to play hockey. I played road hockey and pond hockey with my older brothers. So, when it came time to sign up for ice hockey, I just thought that's what we would do. However, I was explicitly told that girls don't play hockey. Instead, I was signed up for ringette, which I took as a blessing. At least I was doing something. I played ringette for many years and even won a few Western Ontario championships. It was great, but it wasn't the same as playing hockey.

So, I always admired Hayley and was inspired by her determination to do what people told her she couldn't do (I now know I was inspired by her GRIT). This past June, I was in PEI, and I ran into a young rugby player. I was telling her about how I help women develop the right balance of grit and grace to achieve unimaginable goals with ease. She said, "You've got to read Hayley Wickenheiser's book. It's about grit." Thanks to the magic of Amazon, by the time I got home from PEI, Hayley's book was on my doorstep. 

My style of reading a book is not traditional. I read the front cover, I read the back cover, I read the reviews, and I might open up a chapter that's interesting to me and read that. But most books I buy, I never actually read. In this case, I read the front cover, I read the back cover, I read the reviews, and then I read the last chapter "Go Slow to Go Fast." So good. "Slow down to speed up" is something I've been doing my whole career. I always coach my clients to do that. It works, so that resonated with me. Then I read chapter 1 and I could not put it down. I finished the whole book in less than three days. Exploring the defensive zone, the neutral zone, and the offensive zone with speed, rest, and strategy, like I was part of Hayley's story. This book is so good!

Of course, the chapter on grit was a highlight for me. With grit, you can get it done. Hayley definitely embodies grit and perseverance and passion for her long-term goals. Even when you get through the story, you see that throughout her whole hockey career, she was actually working on becoming a doctor at the same time so that she could jump right into medical school when she finished her hockey career. That's passion and perseverance for your long-term goals.

Hayley follows the grit chapter with "Rest as a Weapon" and coaches the reader to be relentless in their rest. For me, this aligns with how I coach my clients and audiences to have grace. You've got to give yourself grace, you've got to rest, you've got to relax. I always talk about on the weekends how I rest. I don't work at all on weekends, and Mondays are my favorite workday because I am so rested, it makes me efficient and productive. Rest is productive.

Moving into the neutral zone, Hayley talks about getting creative. One of the key takeaways for me was the chapter on how she gives herself time to feel her feelings. If she's going through a tough time, she literally sets a timer on her phone for 20 minutes and screams at the world until the 20 minutes is over, and then it's done, and she moves on. Feeling the feelings has been a really important lesson for me in the past few weeks. I'm going through some tough times with my family. Setting a 20-minute timer has allowed me to feel the feels while also keeping my business moving forward and continuing to take care of myself and my family. Amazing strategy.

The final section of the book, the offensive zone, begins with "Time to Let It Fly." Hayley talks about using pressure as a privilege, pressure as your teammate, to really push you forward. At the same time, she talks about the easy speed, being in that state of flow, which is so magical. (WYKYK) Throughout the book, we learn about Hayley's courage to adopt her son when she was 21, and as the book closes, she reminds us that kids will change us whether we're ready for it or not. It reminded me of how grateful I am for my own children and everything they have given to me.

Hayley Wickenheiser's book "Over the Boards: Lessons from the Ice" is a true gem. Thank you, Hayley, for using your time during Covid to pour your heart out and tell your story. I'm so glad you did what they all said you couldn't do. I love that you found the right balance of grit and grace to achieve unimaginable goals.

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