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Venla’s Vibes: We Either Survive or We Thrive

Photo courtesy of Jets Hockey Development

Venla’s Vibes: We Either Survive or We Thrive

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. Most of us no longer rush from point A to B, from one hockey rink to another. Chores like grocery shopping and cooking have turned into fun, daily activities. Instead of my early alarm, I can now wake up to yoga poses and an hour-long neighbourhood walk waiting for the trees to bloom – much like how I used to wait for the next Jets game.

Nevertheless, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. We have been forced out of our daily routines while facing a lot of stress due to the uncertainty of the future. Even though we know that the virus is mostly a physical threat only to the people that fall under the high-risk groups, the psychological effects of the situation touch nearly every one of us to a certain extent; some people deal with those effects better than others.

We may worry about the health of our loved ones, the cancellation of future plans, job security, procrastination and trouble of working from home. Our financials, lack of social contacts, having to deal with change and the feeling of losing control also weigh heavily on many of our hearts and minds.

After doing some thinking, l realized that all this is applicable to my hockey career. When I still played, I used to think that there’s absolutely nothing that can stop myself from performing well, especially when I needed to. At times I actually thrived from setbacks, because they motivated me to work harder.

Adversity forces us out of our comfort zone and it tests who we really are and what we need to work on, whether it is as athletes or as people. Adversity reveals the true nature of ourselves; do we keep going or collapse on our knees waiting for the worst case scenario? We either survive or we thrive. Adversity feeds creativity in ways that allows us to use our hidden potential and discover the world and ourselves from a fresh, new perspective.

All the feelings we are going through right now are natural. It is completely okay to feel the way we do. But the way we face those emotions is the game-changer.

For myself, yoga, morning walks and a short workout during the day make a world of difference. That is my response to adversity; those acts allow me to be a better person and to remain positive. What is your response? I do believe our attitude has a huge impact on our daily happiness and how we react to changes.

We either survive or we thrive.

Venla Hovi is a former Olympic hockey player and current coach who enjoys nature, sports, coffee and the sauna. She is originally from Finland but has spent the past four years in Canada. Venla can be reached at

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