My name is Anna and I’m a Blue Jackets fan. I’m a little new to hockey – a few years back my husband, Brian, and I began attending games. I caught the basics quickly but it took me several games to understand some of the more subtle aspects beyond shooting the puck, passing the puck, and hitting each other. But I was hungry for something new and exciting and I dived in!

You see, I am a breast cancer survivor (diagnosed at the age of 32) and I work in cancer research (managing two projects at the Ohio State University). I am also the president of the board of directors for the Young Survival Coalition (YSC).  So, at the time, I was surrounded and engulfed in cancer. Actually, I was always more of a college football fan from Alabama: War Eagle! Go Auburn! Fear the Thumb! But I was beginning to lose interest (coaching changes and what-not).  In 2007, we attended more Blue Jackets games and I picked up even more info. I was even lucky enough to see Rick Nash score a fabulous hat trick on New Year’s Eve!

As the next hockey season started, my life became a bit crazy. Friends were getting sick and placed into hospice. One friend, terminal herself, lost her husband in a car crash. The YSC had just gone through massive staff upheaval and gotten itself a new CEO. Hockey was my escape. The games were an escape: going with my husband, and later our friends Alison and her husband Stephen became great moments ~ even when the Jackets lost. And as the season progressed, and my dramas got worse, hockey became even more important. I met so many people and made so many friends through The NHL Arena. Plus I learned a TON from them about the game I have come to love.

Then last year, I really began to rely on my hockey friends far and wide as I ventured into fundraising for the YSC via a bike ride. I’m doing it again this year – 220+ miles over 3 days from Hershey, PA to NYC in the YSC Tour de Pink East Coast!! My team is called the YSC Puck Bunnies (more on that another day!) and honestly – hockey fans are the BEST!!

I love the Blue Jackets, I am in “like” with the Sharks and the Flyers, and I have a few soft spots here and there but I don’t like to give them away. Let’s just say I appreciate almost all of the teams, sometimes certain players give me a headache, and sometimes the fans that come to Columbus can be obnoxious – but I will take an obnoxious hockey fan over any other sports fan any day of the week! My favorite players are Jared Boll (it’s a southern thing), Kris Russell, and RJ Umberger. And what’s not to like about Rick Nash?? I also love Jody Shelley and long for the day he retires back to the Columbus front office and sets some things straight there.
I write a few other blogs and I am on twitter (acluxton)– but I am randomly spouting off about other things so don’t be surprised at what you read! I look forward to being on this team – learning and writing and engaging with smart chicks who understand the BEST sport in the world – all without giving up my ponytail!

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