With the sun barely peaking over the horizon, we entered Canlan Ice Etobicoke bright and early. With the film crew as the only people on the rink besides a lone zamboni cleaning the ice, a certain amount of nostalgia came over me. It brought me back to the days when I was only eight years old and began my hockey career. Back then, younger teams were often given the earlier times for games and practices. Sometimes as early as five in the morning.
It's strange, throughout much of my life I've often labeled myself as NOT a morning person. If you know me, you know that there is no chance in hell I'd be awake before 12pm on the weekend. It's just not going to happen. For as long as I remember I've been programmed this way. I really enjoy sleeping.
There was however only one exception to the rule above: hockey. There's something very distinct about the feeling you get when you're the first one at the rink. It's the smell, it's the ambiance of stepping onto the ice and playing a game you love before most people have awaken. I always remembered jumping straight out of bed full of excitement, eager to strap on the skates, eager to score goals, and eager to win. As a child I was passionate about the game. It was enough motivation for me to lose sleep over.
Now into my adult life, I've been fortunate enough to find an equal amount of passion in my career. Though it's still not easy for me to wake up in the early parts of the morning – it’s typically made easier when I get the opportunity to film. Every morning that I wake up for a project, I strive to get the best shots, the most unique shots, and, most importantly, I strive to tell a story. Trying to tell a story from a perspective that others don't see. The on-going challenge to perfect the art of filmmaking that motivates me to wake up everyday now, is the same feeling that motivated me to wake up on a cold winters morning to film the 34th Annual Doug Vann Hockey Tournament.