Probably the toughest part about being a Dallas Stars Ice Girl is the time commitment. Not including pre-season or the possibility of playoff games, which we are a part of, the regular NHL season consists of about 40-plus home games. On top of games we have practices twice a week along with appearances throughout the year. Not to mention that each girl who auditions is required to be a full-time college student or hold a job, and many of us do both. In our contracts we agree to be available for each and every home game and all practices – needless to say, it has been a while since I have enjoyed a Christmas vacation or Spring Break away from the arena.
The key to keeping yourself sane is to first understand that you cannot do everything. I quickly learned that as a college student with a double major I had to prioritize and combine my academic and Ice Girl lives. Instead of goofing off and catching up with teammates in the locker room before games, I would find my corner, pull out my laptop and type my papers or review for an upcoming exam. I arranged my school schedule such that I would never have to miss class for a game or practice. If we had an appearance after class we have to find the time to get ready early in the morning or during a lunch break.
In between getting all academic work successfully completed, fulfilling Ice Girl responsibilities and attempting to have a social life, it is important to put aside time to keep ourselves in shape. When coming home late after an exhausting day it is all too easy to melt into the couch and order a pizza. But, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is critical, Ice Girl or not. Making the effort to cook healthy meals for the week and throw out the microwaveable foods makes all the difference to keeping yourself healthy. And despite the exercise we do during the games and team workouts at practice, I always find a way to squeeze in my own gym time.
To accomplish all this, we have to keep ourselves organized. At the end of each practice we spend time talking about upcoming appearances or special events such as photo and video shoots. Although most appearances are voluntary, occasionally we have mandatory events that require the entire team that we must fit into our already packed schedules. I find it helpful to keep a written planner along with my iPhone calendar; you never know when technology will fail you. Each aspect of my life is color-coded, Ice Girls, individual classes, work and personal. I note each event with approximate times, important due dates or other personal notes. It may seem excessive, but it’s much more productive than taking notes on my hand middle-school style!
However hectic and time consuming being an Ice Girl may be, I would rather spend my days running around trying to fit everything in, than to sit around going stir-crazy with nothing to do. In the words of Lucille Ball, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.”