This question came up in nearly every conservation I had with someone when they asked where I am from or what I am doing currently. It was a question I've had to deal with for the last four months. And for the last four months, I have not done the best job of answering that question.
Typically, I'd say..
"chasing my dream"
"giving back to the game that has given me so much"
"stepping outside my comfort zone"
"going all in on me"
Which are all valid responses, but again I do not believe they do the question justice. I've had now four months to think about a more well thought out and drawn out response.
With that, I should provide some context. I started playing roller hockey at age 7 or 8, I believe. Stepped on ice skates at 9, played travel hockey at 10 and had the best first three years one could imagine. I quit ice-hockey at age 13-years-old due to a poor coach and teammates. I picked it up again in 9th grade because of a friend's father and my mother. And never looked back. Through those years, I had one good coach from 14-years-old to 18-years-old. I've had coaches who yelled, screamed, did not believe in me, did not push me, give me confidence and as I am in the position I am today I always think about what could have been if I just had one coach that cared for me and pushed me. Luckily I got to college and recognized I needed to push myself but by that time it was too late to pursue my ultimate goal. Now, I played with some of the best teammates ever and the best years of my life during college but at the end of the day I know I could have done more.
At 22-years-young, I was presented with an opportunity to coach a 14U team and it was the best time of my life. BUT, I could have done better. At 23-years-young I was presented with another amazing opportunity to coach a high school team. The moment I said yes and my two feet touched the Iowa soil. I knew it was all or nothing.
So, my answer to the repetitive "why did you move to Iowa?" question is this...
I had ups and downs during my hockey career. I was never pushed at a young age. I was never showed the attention by many coaches at a young age and the very important years of one's hockey career. I was never provided the necessary care, attention, coaching to push myself and be the player I could have been. I settled for average, I settled for mediocrity in high school. I found friends more important than hockey at times. I was never pushed out of my comfort zone to be the player I could have been. Because I never had anyone there do that for me.
So, I moved to Iowa to be something I never had. To be a coach and role model for twenty-eight young high school kids/players and show them that if they put their mind to something anything is possible. There is no time for excuses in life and feeling sorry for yourself is not going to get you anywhere. I moved here to raise the expectations of every single kid on the team. To push them out of their comfort zone, make them work harder than they ever have before to realize that with hard work and dedication comes results and that if you work hard anything is possible.
I moved to Iowa to be something I never had. So kids could be someone they never imagined they could be or achieve things they never imagined they could achieve.
Make sense now?