Maybe the sport was the only thing that was working in their life. Maybe the days they showed up for matches and training were the only days they got to interact. How about their coach? Maybe that was the only person who believed in them. They were the only person who saw potential in them. The only people who appreciated their performance. The only people who embraced the change that had come forth. Have you thought of this? Maybe the team was the only family that accepted them. The only social system that never gave them anxiety or the pressure to fit in.
That is why it was easy for them to fit in. To be able to express their feelings. To be able to trust themselves. Behind every smile, there is a story and a face that has a number of masks. Each mask has a day, a crowd, and a situation. People are battling fights that are only resolvable out on the pitch. The runs are therapy. The interactions that they have with their teammates are the only words that they embrace. The field is the only place where their performance is accepted. The team is the only home that has not rejected them.
To everyone cold and alone at home in these dark times, we hear you. For you who crave the relief of the wind rushing past you as you run, you are not alone. You are in our hearts. Before you know it, we will be back on the pitch doing the hockey dance. Like all things, this too will pass.