Growing up in Houston, Texas was one of the greatest things that I have done. Of course, I didn't have much say in the matter, but I sure enjoyed it. One thing that I really loved was how much sports were emphasized, even from a really young age. I think that between the ages of five and twelve I tried out six or seven different sports. None of them, however, could hold a candle to hockey.
I know what most of you are thinking. Hockey? In Texas? Is there even any ice there? Well, no. There is not a great deal of ice in Houston. Luckily, street hockey is the answer to that problem.
When I was ten years old I started playing street hockey, the roller-blade variety. Yes, there was an option where I could wear tennis shoes and run around after the ball. In fact, the first time I signed up I opted for the tennis shoe league because I had never really been on roller-blades before. Unfortunately, or fortunately as it would turn out, there was a mix up when assigning me a team and I ended up on a roller hockey team instead. Result? One of the best mix ups to happen to me in those early years of life.
For the next three years I was a part of a roller hockey team that posted a record of 28-2. Those first two losses came in the first year I played. I had the same coach all three years, and the core group of players remained. I would have played longer if I could have, but the sport became pretty expensive.
There were at least three games that I can remember where I scored at least three goals, a hat trick. For some reason, I seemed to have a natural ability for this sport. Granted, this could very well be because I was playing hockey in Houston, a city (and state as it were) that had hockey as probably the eight or ninth most popular sport. I'll tell you what though, I loved every minute of it.
Moral of the story, be open minded to a number of different things. You never know when you will run across something different that you grow to love. I could have very easily ignored the chance to play hockey and gone for football, the crown sport of Texas, basketball, soccer, or any number of other sports. Luckily, I took a chance, at the age of ten nonetheless, and came out on top.