Jessie Mac's the captain of her AAA team. What could be better? What could be worse?


Breakaway picks up with Jessie just about to begin her last year of high school and Midget girls hockey. The team is going AAA - which means a host of challenges for Jessie and her teammates. Players are cut, and a head coach needs to be found. Then there’s the pressure of playing in a highly competitive league. On the home front, her little sister Courtney may think she’s all grown up, but Jessie’s afraid she’s picking the wrong friends and making the wrong choices. To top things off, Jessie still isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life - except play more hockey once she graduates. Her feelings for Mark never seem to go away - no matter what she does. Everyone else seems to have life figured out. Why can’t she?

Saturday morning is hell. We go to the curling rink – where there's no ice – to start our fitness testing. I come out okay on weight, height, and the vertical jump, and I think...this isn't so hard. Then Sue brings out the whistles and stopwatches. The beep test is awful, but it's not the worst. The RHIET or Repeated High Intensity Endurance Test is criminal. Pylons are set forty metres apart. We have thirty seconds to run from one pylon and back to the start line. The time we don't use is time to rest. It's only six times, I think. That's three minutes. How bad can it be? I soon find out. Agonized lungs screaming for air. Muscles on fire. Guts aching. I want to curl up and die.

Listen to Jesse Mac on the hockey gods