Her personality on, and off, the ice is determined. She goes after what she wants and does not doubt herself while doing it. At ten years old, Cecelia Mick learned to ice skate at the only rink in Klamath Falls.
After watching her brother play hockey for several years, she decided that she would also play and maybe “deke” (fool an opponent into losing position) too. Those around her supposed her desire was just a phase like many younger children who want to imitate their older siblings. They would be proven wrong.
In 6th grade, Cecelia learned the basics of hockey and by 7th grade she was on a team surrounded by burly boys.
“My parents were not crazy about the idea of it being just me and a bunch of boys, but we made a deal. I assured them that I was having fun and would stop playing by 8th grade”.Cecelia Mick
But guess what? Her love for hockey did not cool off. In fact, in her freshman year of high school, she was the only girl on the Klamath Falls Ice Hockey team. For her, it was merely another day on the ice. By sophomore year, there was another girl playing along side her. “We didn’t fit in around 6-foot tall adolescent boys, but we kept playing,” she comments.
Fast forward to the end of her sophomore year, and after attending some camps and competing in regional and national competitions, she was invited to play for Coeur d’Alene Hockey Academy (https:/www.cdahockeyacademy.com/) in Idaho.
What an honor and also a difficult choice! Deciding whether to leave home in the middle of high school and move to another state, live with a host family, and take all online classes while playing hockey a minimum of 5 days a week could not have been an easy one. Yet she went for it with the same Cecelia-style determination that people doubted and were later schooled for doing so.
Not only did she attend and spend 5 hours on the ice a day with grueling hours of exercise, but she realized online education was not for her insisting she wanted to attend public school. The coach said yes and so did the rest of the team! Practices and schedules were coordinated to accommodate this trendsetter. Looking back, Cecelia believes that online school reinforced educational self-discipline. But ultimately, she wanted that traditional experience, and she got it!
High school success led to college interest. With multiple offers, recently, she chose Neumann University in Pennyslvania (https://www.neumann.edu/) and plans to leave mid-August on a cross-country trek. Looking back, Cecelia remembers all those who questioned her desire to play hockey.
“No one accepted that I would go much farther with it than playing in high school”.Cecelia Mick
Once again, they were wrong. The “you are not big enough,” and “you can’t do this,” platitudes were never obstacles; more like annoyances that Cecelia avoided so the negativity would not affect her. With supportive parents and coaches, any doubt melted like ice cubes on a Summer scorcher. Her current goal is to “play hockey for as long as possible, working as hard as I can for the next four years.”
Ice hockey is an exhausting sport but she has learned that, “You can’t let your mind decide when your body is done.” She challenges others to use her life story as an example of possibilities. Who could have guessed that a petite girl in an even smaller town in Oregon with only four female hockey players would get to travel in the United States and play on an American team in a Canadian league? Athletes have a special rugged mental toughness that often pushes them beyond boundaries set by others that never phase them – Cecelia is a perfect example.
Congratulations to this lovely lady who takes grit, determination, and unnerving confidence with her to Idaho. She will be watched and adored from afar.
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