One story that I can share is about my Dad growing up in Minnesota. For those of you that don’t know hockey is a big part of life for kids growing up in Minnesota. In the winter, most frozen lakes have a hockey rink that allows many kids and adults to play on. When my dad was little he would play with his friends for hours into the night on the rink. These were stories I heard even before I was old enough to know how to skate. Not surprisingly once I learned to skate, I fell in love with the sport of hockey. Since I was five years old, I have been playing competitive hockey year-round. While I do not get to skate on an outdoor pond in New York, I did spend a year playing on a team that practiced on an outdoor rink in Central Park. Since those days, I have been fortunate to play on a team based in New Jersey and have had the opportunity to play in many states. Hockey has taught me many valuable lessons about being part of a team and having confidence in myself. I have also made many great friends throughout the years. I have been lucky to be able to go to Minnesota over the winter holidays and when I am there I skate on outdoor rinks with my cousins. Even though I have never lived in Minnesota, I have always felt a special connection to the state.