It’s Time to Jump: Why I’m Quitting My Day Job

I have decided to leave my day job. My last day will be Feb. 25.  It was not an easy decision to make and it is very bittersweet for me.
I’ve been at the Hockey Academy for about four and a half years and overall it has served
me really well. For those who aren’t familiar with my role, it is largely communications related for the company but also operations related for adult hockey leagues. I’ve made amazing friendships out of it and for so long got to say, “even when it’s my worst day at work, I still work in hockey.” And it was true.
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But about three or four months ago, things stopped adding up for me. I don’t want to get too deep into details but my anxiety level was through the roof…to the point where I could barely function.  I broke down and felt like something was tearing away at my soul. I found myself questioning a lot of things.
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I was conflicted because I still felt like I had something to offer people. I’m obviously still very passionate about hockey. I’m also passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, fitness, and helping others live happier lives. I thought I was accomplishing that at work through my day job but really, all I was doing was driving myself deeper in a dark hole. In order to do what I really want to do – help other people – I had to help myself first. You know how when you’re on an airplane and they talk about how when the oxygen mask comes down in the event of an outage, you’re supposed to secure your own before helping other people? That’s what I needed to do.
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Then I saw this video. It changed a lot of things for me. And listen – I’m not religious at all. I’m not even a fan of Steve Harvey. But in this video, he speaks my soul, and I get emotional every time I watch it.
I looked at Meg Hewings, GM for the Montreal Candiennes. She’d always been a role model for me since I started in my GM job. Meg is a full time GM, and has what she calls “not jobs” to supplement her income (because let’s be honest, GM life doesn’t pay the bills, as much as I would like it to and hope it someday does). These “not jobs” include some real estate and some writing gigs (we both have a journalism background). But what clicked for me was that Meg lives a life by design. She built her life so that she could get income by doing things she loved and enjoyed, and could also dedicate enough of her time to her other love, her team, and be a full time GM.
Imagine all the things I could do if I were a full time GM, I thought. My eyes and heart would light up just thinking about it. And, I could still help people by exploring my passion for health & fitness as a career too. It would truly be the best of both worlds if I could do both. I took a lot of time to think about this possibility. I went away for about a week, my first real vacation in over a year. And I just thought long and hard.
 My conclusion: I needed to let go of what no longer served me and design my own life. Financially, I had a safety net for myself. I would be okay. I cried tears of joy. Tears of release. I knew what the answer was. It was time.
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I’m not going to lie, there are aspects of my day job that I will miss. It is a little scary because all the “what if’s?” run through my head on a regular basis. The voice inside that doubts yourself can be the loudest one. But I know that in letting go of something that no longer serves me, I am creating something amazing: my happiness.
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Sometimes you have to jump off a cliff and build your wings on the way down. So that’s what I’m doing. Jumping. It’s going to make me a better GM, and a happier and more fulfilled person. I’m ready to start the next chapter of my life.
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All Star Weekend Recap

This past weekend was the second annual CWHL All Star Game in Toronto! It was a great experience so I wanted to do a quick recap.

I did attend the first annual All Star Game last year, but as a fan. My friend Shanna and I flew up just for the experience and had a great time visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame and sightseeing.

This year was obviously different, attending as a GM and in a work-related capacity. We arrived on Friday, checked into the hotel, grabbed some food and right away had a meeting.

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The CWHL really went all out in terms of making everyone feel welcome at the hotel. Door tags hung on player/staff/coaches doors, balloons decorated the lobby, and logos were put on the hotel elevators.

After the meeting, we had some down time to get ready for the draft.

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The draft included some mingling and socializing before everyone gathered in a room at the hotel. Players were announced and walked in one by one, taking their seats in the front rows. Captains announced their starting line, and Watch was selected by Natalie Spooner as a starter. It was a proud moment because we all know how hard she works and how much she deserves that.

Then the rest of the picks were announced by stick draw. As each players was selected, they were briefly interviewed on stage. Once it was complete everyone took one big photo and then some individual/group photos.

As you can see Brownie ended up on team Black and the three other Blades ended up on team White. Not really sure how that happened but I think it’s always nice to switch things up a bit once in a while, for the players to play with others rather than against them sometimes.

The CWHL also announced at the draft that GMs would be dropping the puck at the All Star Game. This really meant a lot to me because being a GM is allowing me to live my dream working in professional hockey. It’s also allowing me to live a life by design and has helped me to find my true happiness. GMs really put in a lot of work behind the scenes and it’s not always something people see – the day to day operations of the team. So it was nice to be recognized for that as well, and recognize the fact that the CWHL has given all of us, as women, this opportunity that is usually reserved for men in pro hockey.

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Julie Chu and Natalie Spooner take the face off while GMs (left to right: me, Lori Dupuis of Brampton, Chantel Champagne of Calgary, Meg Hewings of Montreal and Rebecca Michael of Toronto) drop the puck (s). Looking back we maybe should have dropped five pucks? 🙂 I did get to keep a puck from the experience though.

Dropping the puck at Air Canada Center was incredible and definitely something I’ll never forget.

From there we headed up to a suite where we got to meet a lot of league sponsors and special guests. It was great to be able to personally thank them for all they do for our league.

Of course we watched the game and you know how that ended, with a Black team win, but everyone had fun and that is the most important part of the All Star Game after all.

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Genevieve Lacasse, Kristina Brown, Dru Burns & Tara Watchorn after the game.

After the game, tons of little girls made their way down to ice level by the locker rooms.  I was outside of the Black team locker room when Brownie came out and she was absolutely swarmed by these excited and energetic little girls. She found a little one she wanted to give a stick to, so she signed it and give it to her, it was adorable. Brownie spent some time signing a lot stuff for so many of those little girls before she headed back into the locker room to get changed. I hope it made her feel like a rock star, and that is an unbelievable feeling that not many people get to experience.


After the game GMs decided to meet with each other informally and compare notes. I honestly think that face time is so important in jobs/situations like this because “isolation” can be really tough. Phone calls just aren’t the same, so to get face time and actual time together to compare notes on how we run our organization, is amazing. I think we all came away with some great ideas after that.

Saturday night we all had dinner together – players, coaches, GMs, and the CWHL staff who worked so hard to make the weekend happen – and just enjoyed our time together.

Sunday morning was full of more meetings and then it was off to the airport.

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Billy Bishop is a unique airport in Toronto. Only one airline flies in an out of that one – Porter – and let me tell you, the Porter crew in Boston recognizes us when we fly in and out of there practically every other weekend (or at least it feels that way).

What I love about it is how fast it is, and they only board like 15 minutes before your plane leaves, so you can kind of take your time. Luckily on Sunday that meant we had more time to watch the Patriots game while we were waiting for our flight to board. Obviously it didn’t end as we hoped, though 😦


Overall it was an amazing weekend and it just reminds us that we all work for something bigger in women’s hockey. When we get hung up on the little things, the day to day…sometimes it’s just nice to think back about why we are all really here.

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It Takes a Village: 5 Easy Ways to Support Women’s Hockey

They say it takes a village to raise a child; I’m learning that it definitely takes a village to run a professional women’s hockey team.


Our first round draft pick, Kristina Brown (Boston College). My first draft was such an amazing experience.

It’s probably come as no surprise to everyone that as I accepted a position as GM of the Boston Blades, a professional women’s hockey team in the CWHL, my priorities in life have definitely shifted.

I used to be able to put a lot of time into fitness coaching and I can’t as much anymore, but I’m still striving to live as an example for others when it comes to health & fitness. I will never let that go. I know that I need exercise & I need to take care of my body now more than ever. When our own lives get busy and suddenly we are under so much immense pressure, I think it is so easy to lose sight of your own well being. It has happened to me over and over again and I’m determined to not let myself slip back into bad habits. My own health with always be #1 priority. (I wish more women were able to do this without feeling guilty about it!)

That said, this blog is focused on what is going on in my life at any given time and right now, I’m gonna write about hockey right now.

The girls representing Boston!

The girls representing Boston! Draft pick Eli Tremblay; alumna Tara Watchorn; me; draft pick Nicole Giannino; draft pick Kristina Brown

I have been overwhelmed with support from the people who I’ve reached out to (and who have reached out to me!) in the last three months. Friends, colleagues, people in the hockey world, women who I play hockey with…all people who just genuinely care about the sport and want to support the Boston Blades. They’re willing to get their hands dirty and help however we need help. I’m incredibly humbled by it. So I want you ALL to know how much it means to me that you’ve been so supportive of me and of this team. It makes my heart full & so happy.

If you’re looking to help but aren’t sure where to start or what to do: there are tons of ways to support this hockey team. I realize not everyone may have $150-$180 for Blades season tickets, or be able to make every game, etc.

Here are some easy ways you can support the Boston Blades:

1. Show up! Our fans are so incredibly important but it’s even more important that we see your faces every weekend. So – come to our games. Bring your friends. Support this team because you love the sport and you know how hard the players & staff work to make this all happen. Your presence is validation for us that this sport matters to you. Here is our schedule; and details for each game are forthcoming.

However!! Mark your calendars now for the games you want to make.

In fact, I’ll give you a sneak peak at some of our promotions:

Oct. 31 – Home opener, post game skate with the team. Bring your skates and meet the team! Come in costume if you like and we’ll make it a “haunted skate.” Whatever floats your boat. (We’ll be the ones dressed like bumble bees? #BlackAndGold.)

Nov. 14 –  Military appreciation night, all active military & veterans get in free. Players will wear camo jerseys. Operation Hat Trick hats will be on sale, game worn camo jerseys will be auctioned. We’ll be supporting another great organization, Hockey Saves, which pays for ice time for vets.

Dec. 19 – Teddy bear toss! Bring a new or gently used teddy bear, toss it on the ice after the Blades score their first goal. All teddies will be donated to Salvation Army. Flying teddy bears, what’s not to love?

I’ll get more information out there as soon as we solidify more details but you definitely won’t want to miss these games. Bring your kids, your neighbors, your neighbors’ kids. Help spread the game.

2. Volunteer. If you have some time to give, a particular talent or even just a pair of hands, we can find something for you to do to help us out. You can even volunteer remotely from home by helping us do some groundwork for fundraising. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment on your end, but if you believe in what we believe in, we know you can help us spread the sport of women’s hockey. E-mail me at and we’ll get you hooked up.

3. Merchandise. We will have all new merchandise created for this season! Support your team by buying some merch, wearing your fandom proud and helping us raise the money we need to raise to operate as a team. Our merchandise isn’t currently set up for sales yet (because, like I said, new merch vendor…but SOON!) but when it is I will let you know, so you can buy ALL OF THE THINGS!

4. Season kick off party! Come to our very first team fundraiser on Oct 1: start at $25 and include two drinks at Bantam Cider, which is really quite a deal. And think of the company you’ll be in! Buy a ticket!

We have to raise a lot of money to make this hockey team happen. I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of daunting, but I know I’ll be leaning my “village” to help me get it done. So you buying a ticket and showing up to this party REALLY helps us out.

We will be having more fundraisers in the future as well (of course) so be sure to keep an eye out and support those. If you have any ideas for fundraisers, send ’em my way! This GM is all ears.

5. Engage with us on social media. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. We are @BostonCWHL on pretty much everything. Download Periscope and follow me @KristaPatronick so you can listen to me ramble about the Blades. You’ll even get to watch some of our practices on ‘scope, etc. Like our stuff and share it up!! 🙂

Another fun thing that we have been planning is a Clarkson Cup tour around the city of Boston to celebrate our win last season. We’ll be hitting some Boston landmarks with the Cup and doing some photo ops the week before our home opener. I can’t give away too many details yet but at least a couple photo ops are scheduled for my birthday. I’m so excited to spend my birthday with the Clarkson Cup, with my hockey family, in my city, celebrating my 28th year of life. It’s going to be a great one.

Huge thank you to everyone who has engaged with the team, supported me & the Blades so far this season. It is only just beginning.

Our practices start in about a week and a half and I’m really excited to get the squad on the ice and watch them gel as a team.

Hope to see you in October 🙂

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5 Beautiful Things About Summer Hockey

There is seriously nothing I love more than playing hockey in the summer.


Sure, I get to play a lot more in the summer than I do in the winter, because of my busy work schedule. But really – there’s nothing better than summer hockey. Here’s why:

1. When you get out of your game, it might still be light out. Like, you might actually be able to go out for ice cream (or the bar…) with your teammates. How awesome is that?

There is always time for a selfie during hockey.

There is always time for a selfie during hockey.

2. Ice times are usually earlier. Without so many of those little kids around, so much ice time is freed up. I’m secretly a grandma so anytime I can be in bed by 10 p.m., I’m all about it.

3. Walking into the rink is refreshing, and you can stay there for a while without a million layers of clothing. If you’re just watching a game, it gets cold fast in the winter. And those locker rooms? Straight up arctic. In February, you just dread getting dressed. In the summer, it’s not so bad. (I try not to think about those rare times when it’s colder outside the rink than it is inside the rink. That is depressing.)

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4. Post-tournament pool parties. If you’re lucky enough to have a teammate with a pool, summer tournaments always end with pool parties and a bonfire. There’s nothing like getting off the ice and putting a bathing suit on to celebrate your shutout or championship win. Or just drinking to try to forget that your game even happened, if it ended badly…

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5. Tent Sales. Oh my goodness, tent sales. In the summer, hockey stores have humungous sales under a large tent in which they sell hockey equipment (and NHL team swag) at hugely discounted prices. If you’ve been eyeing a new piece of equipment or you just want to stock up on your favorite team’s gear for Christmas presents, the tent sale is where you want to be.

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What’s your favorite thing about playing hockey in the summer?

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5 Surprising Things That Happen When You Reach Your Goal Weight

You set your sights upon seeing a certain number on the scale. You eat, sleep, and breathe according to reach your goal. So…what happens when you finally see it?

These are things I encountered recently when I finally hit my “happy weight.”

1. It doesn’t look like you think it would. Am I happy about seeing a certain number on the scale? Yes. But is it everything I thought it would be? Not at all. While I’m happy FullSizeRender (13)with the number on the scale, my body fat percentage is still too high for my liking. So now I’ve adjusted my goal to decrease that number and increase my muscle mass. Yes…I am looking for gainz! Staying the same weight but less body fat and more muscle. Bring. It. On.

2. You look in the mirror and still see every imperfection. My body may take up less space these days, but there are still a lot of things I see that I don’t like. I think a lot of women do this – look in the mirror and just see flaws. They think about all the ways someone could judge them if they post a selfie on the Internet. I’m not immune to that. So when I look in the mirror, sometimes I still feel like I weigh 232lbs. I see everything I don’t like. I compare my body to other women’s bodies. I guess that just makes me human. It doesn’t change when you weigh less.

3. You still have to work at it. The scale is a dirty liar sometimes and fluctuates easily. This means you still have to keep up your habits to stay at the weight you want to be. And listen, it is work. And if you don’t do it, you will notice. You’ll have to hit another “rock bottom” before you find your way back into the healthy habits you once had on lock.

4. Your inner confidence shines through. You’ve always had it in you: your thoughts, feelings, beliefs…the things that make you unique. But now you’re not afraid of sharing them with others because you’re less insecure. You don’t feel like you need to be terse after climbing a flight of stairs because you’re embarrassed from all the huffing and puffing you’re doing. You go to the beach. You can shop at any store. It’s freeing.


Go ahead and try to get me out of this amazing pool in Jamaica. It can’t be done.

5. You wonder why you waited so long to make the changes. I look back at my college years and the first few years after college and think about what my life would have been like then if I had the body I have now. It’s actually kind of shallow when you think about it. I have no regrets of course, but I do feel like I may have missed out on a lot of things because of my confidence and body image issues.

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A photo of me when I had no idea how great life truly can be. ❤

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Bouncing Back from a Bad Bounce

I only made it about half way home from the doctor’s office before I had to pull over and cry in a Rite-Aid parking lot.

In hockey, there are good bounces and bad bounces. There are things that are purely luck; IMG_3398things that just go your way that you happen to have no control over. It could be a goal that trickled between a goalie’s legs, a call from a referee that happens to favor your team, a rogue pass that found its way onto a teammate’s stick and produced a great play.

And then there are bounces that just don’t go your way. Times when you feel like you have to work hard for every inch of ice, every pass, every shot, and it’s still not connecting. It’s taking 100 shots and hitting the post all 100 times.

I feel like I have been hitting the post over and over again. I can’t stay healthy. On MarchIMG_3400 28 I played in a charity hockey game with my team. During the game I dove to make a save, and landed on my shoulder with my arm outstretched. As soon as it happened I knew something wasn’t right and that I’d hurt myself but I figured the soreness would go away in about a week.

I was wrong. I played hockey again on Friday night and it made my injury significantly worse. I saw a doctor today and he diagnosed me as having a rotator cuff injury. Not completely torn but strained. I’m in a lot of pain (and also seeking a second opinion.)

This was not something I had any control over. It was a freak accident, a bounce that didn’t go my way, but it was huge blow. I have just been getting over a wrist injury that I thought I may have needed surgery to repair and things had just started to get better. I started boxing with my left arm again, finally, and I even ordered myself a new pair of boxing gloves. Now I’m afraid the left glove will unfortunately have to sit idle for another 3-4 weeks.

After seeing a doctor today about my shoulder injury, I just felt defeated. Overwhelmed. FullSizeRender (24)Frustrated. For so long I’d been making modifications to my workout because of my injury. Now I need to continue to do that but for a different injury. It’s not fair, but it’s not my fault. It’s a bad bounce.

I know that if a client of mine approached me with a similar issue looking for advice, I’d know I’d tell them not to give up. I’d point out all the things I’ve been through, like running marathons with serious injuries in my feet, and all the times I’ve come back from stupid little injuries like this. Ankles, wrists, hips, calves. Now we can just add shoulder to the list.

I would remind myself that my survival rate of things like this is 100%, and that if I gave up, I’d just be taking a step back. How can people look to me for leadership if I’m not even following my own example? I’m stronger than that. I can overcome. I know because I’ve done it so many times before.FullSizeRender (23)

Blow after blow. Bad bounce after bad bounce. I’ll be fine and I will keep on keeping on.

I’ll get better, and I’ll put that puck top shelf one of these days.

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