When I graduated from high school, my class had its celebration at the Fairmont.
It was a Moulin Rouge themed, feather-laden, wine-fest, with an after-hours chicken finger bar, and one constipated parent who complained about the theme being too inappropriate and promiscuous.
Halfway through the night, I managed to successfully sneak into a few photo booth pictures, drink the leftover wine on most tables, and dance hard enough to make my feet gush blood while the DJ spun his sick beats.
It was nearing midnight, and I decided that I needed a few more decent memories before I trudged off to my eventual grave in the cemetery that was university.
I noticed my friend Amanda going into the photo booth with her boyfriend at the time, and as they kissed and canoodled for the camera’s timer, I poked my head in through the back panel.
Now, I honestly don’t know why it was so funny, but when the picture printed, I laughed so fucking hard that I peed my pants.
I was wearing my favourite pair of neon orange, camera-covered panties, which I decided I needed to remove immediately, and so I left a ballroom of floor-length gowns and tuxedos to take off my underwear.
When I got into the bathroom, I wrapped them in a paper towel, washed my hands 4 times, then proceeded to figure out what to do with my favourite pair of underwear. After all, I couldn’t just throw them away.
They were lucky. They were the only reason I had passed my biology exam. They were the only reason I had the courage to go out and meet people after an exhausting breakup with my ex-boyfriend.
These underwear had magical powers, and whether they smelled like pee or not, I was NOT just going to abandon them in a hotel washroom trashcan.
I’m not even lying when I say that this would be a more appropriate send off.
After literally thirty seconds of thought, and realizing that sticking them in my purse would be a super gross idea, I decided I would stick them in the sick room, and get them just before the night was over (by the way, the sick room is a place that you go if you get too drunk and can’t function. Or if you get, like, sick, I guess. But no one catches a damn cold at grad, lemme tell ya’.)
When I was in the room, however, my plans were quickly thwarted, seeing as the only thing in the small space were two stripped down cots on thin metal framing. I shoved the underwear under the bed’s wiring, adjusted the mattress, and just as I was about to shut the door behind me, I noticed someone crying on the leather armchair outside.
She was in a royal blue dress similar to mine, with one strap going over a shoulder, the other bare (except hers wasn’t an eye-gouging shade of pink). Her makeup ran down both cheeks, and though her manicured hands were polished and prim, her fingers were spotted from wiping away tears.
When I asked her what was wrong, she let out a louder sob, people around us turning their heads to see the source of the noise. I hesitated momentarily before leading her into the sick room, shutting the door behind us.
Apparently a girl we graduated with had snubbed her in a cruel display of ostrich feathers and Mean Girls-esuqe cattiness.
I tried to comfort her, telling her that the girl was pretty much stuck in her ways like a Louboutin in wet grass, that she should ignore her behaviour that reeked like a middle school sock-hop, but the girl in the blue dress kept crying.
After about 20 minutes of talking, I stopped my feel-good ramble. The scent had hit my nostrils, and I was suddenly hyper-aware that my new friend was sitting on top of my pee-soaked underwear.
“I pissed my pants earlier. Then I shoved them under the bed you’re sitting on.”
Cailey Hay looked up at me from between her fingers. She let out a loud laugh.
Then she told me she wished we could have been friends earlier in the year, which was a weird reaction to someone telling you they pissed themselves in public.
Cailey Hay is a 21-year-old hockey player from OakBank, Manitoba, but I met her when she came to the hallowed halls of kilts and cliques.
Although we weren’t close then, we reconnected after realizing my piss-pants antics were a pretty solid bonding mechanism. In my eyes, she has always been an outspoken, confident woman who dominates on the rink, and connects with just about everyone she meets.
And no matter where we find ourselves, Cailey Hay turns heads, whether it’s hitting up MAW’s beer garden, or going to Whiskey Dix with me and her ex-boyfriend’s mom. Part of it is because she’s a babe and a half, but the other part is because of the level of confidence she exudes.
Cailey Hay is the perfect example of a Manitoba-grown, hockey-playing beauty who has worked hard at loving herself, despite life’s crooked obstacles. Being a well-rounded teammate and athlete is just one side of her. Being a daring, fiery, fashionable smoke show, is another.
As she attempts to balance all areas of her life on the edge of her skate, and be body-confident on and off the ice, this University of British Columbia powerhouse does her best to take on all challenges headfirst.
“I think that body positivity is having a healthy relationship between your brain and your body. It’s just like any other relationship that you would have with another human being, except the majority of the contact is done in your own mind.
This all kind of hit home when I was schmoozing the Internet and found a quote saying, “Don’t say things to yourself that you wouldn’t say to others.”
People think that it’s okay to constantly bash themselves, and end up defining themselves through the vision of others.
In reality, you would never EVER go to your friends, or significant others, and say, “hey, your cellulite makes me nauseous,” “you are truly the ugliest person I’ve ever seen,” or “you’re a cow” (and if you do, please stop, now).
And yet, people don’t hesitate for a second when saying these things to themselves. There is such a disconnect between sharing happiness and kindness with your friends and family, and sharing these same loving thoughts with yourself.
Beyonce, who I love so much, said in her song Pretty Hurts:
When you’re alone all by yourself,
And you’re lying in your bed,
Reflection stares right into you,
Are you happy with yourself?
You stripped away the masquerade,
The illusion has been shed,
Are you happy with yourself?
Are you happy with yourself?
(**CUE SCENE FROM MUSIC VIDEO WHERE SHE USES A TROPHY TO GO APE SHIT AND BREAK EVERYTHING**)
At the end of the day, all you have is yourself. No matter who comes and goes in your life, you are the only one that will be present for every second of every day.
Playing hockey is the main reason I have any confidence at all. As opposed to individual sports, hockey requires so many different types of players to create a successful team.
Unlike men’s hockey, where all players have a fairly generic body type (tall, muscular- but toned- and bordering on thin), female hockey players come in all different shapes and sizes.
If there’s a female body-type you can think of, you can literally find it in our dressing room. This kind of physical diversity reflects the diversity of skills that make up our team.
Everyone brings different strengths (and weaknesses) to the table, and even though no individual is perfect, together we create this flawless mosaic.
Being permanently attached to a team of women who stick together through thick and thin, through defeat and success, is the greatest gift in the world. It’s because of this atmosphere that I have experienced support in its purest form.
With competition as the base, these relationships extend beyond our sport to our everyday lives. Meaning, at the end of the day, hockey or no hockey, I will always have a family to back me up, just as I will always be there for them.
My team IS my confidence.
As for my favourite physical feature… I would have to say my eyes.
I think it’s because every time I look in a mirror, I see my parents. With my father having green eyes, and my mother having blue eyes, I was gifted this odd and and beautiful combination of the two.
I also like that the colour seems to change with the clothes I wear, or with the lighting of a room. It’s fun to be a chameleon of sorts, having a mysterious part of you that can’t be defined.
At the end of the day, hockey is a sport that seriously EVERYONE can love.
So many people who have never played watch the NHL on television for literally fifteen minutes, and they’re like, ‘This is stupid. Shoes with blades on them? Nah, that isn’t really my cup of tea…’
Well let me tell you, it’s so much more then that.
There are so many leagues around, especially considering we live in Canada, that provide open ice and games for all skill levels.
Even my mother, at 50, plays hockey occasionally. Anyone can do it! My personal favourite thing to do is to wait until Christmas time, and hit the outdoors rinks with family and friends.
If you’re not so much into playing the actual game, and just want to strap the skates on, it’s a really amazing experience to skate the river at The Forks in Winnipeg (also in at Christmas time).”
This is how this head of hockey hotness stays body positive.