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Tardy begins next chapter

Tuesday, June 5th
Tardy begins next chapter

This won?t be a typical summer for former Idaho Steelheads defenseman Weston Tardy. Normally, it?d consist of resting and getting his body healthy in anticipation of the upcoming season. But, as it turns out, there will be no upcoming season for Tardy. ?I?m done,? Tardy said of his professional hockey-playing days. ?This is the first summer in 14 years that training for hockey hasn?t been my sole focus.? Tardy, who turns 29 in July, is hanging up the skates, but he isn?t easing off of life?s throttle. ?I?m working in a bike shop here (in Duluth, Minnesota, his hometown) and taking some classes,? Tardy said of his summer schedule. ?So I?m keeping busy.? Tardy?s ultimate goal? Medical school. ?That was sorta what I was working toward when I was younger before hockey took off,? he said. ?But then I grew a couple inches.? It led to a six-year professional career after graduating from Colorado College. He spent last season with Morzine-Avoriaz in France after playing for the Idaho Steelheads from 2009-2011. He was selected as the team?s Defensive Player of the Year in a vote of his teammates at the end of the 2009-2010 season, a season that saw the Steelheads capture the Brabham Cup as the ECHL?s top team in the regular season and also saw the team reach the Kelly Cup finals. He skated in 125 total games with Idaho, totaling 43 points (three goals, 40 assists), consistently earning raves throughout the league for his defensive prowess and shot-blocking skills. And now he?s traded in the skates and sticks for bikes and books. He?s taking classes to prepare for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) at Minnesota-Duluth and, in his spare time, dabbling in bicycle racing. ?It (bike racing) fulfills the competitive edge,? Tardy said. He told a story of a day earlier this week when he had a chemistry test at school, worked in the bike shop in the afternoon, and then competed in a cycling time-trial race that evening. ?There?s a clear correlation between preparation and success,? he noted. ?I studied hard for the test and got an A. I wasn?t able to prepare as much for the race and it showed. By the last mile, my calves ? oh boy.? He fought through calf cramps to complete the seven-mile time trial in less than 20 minutes, he said. Not bad, considering school is his top focus these days. There are eight classes he needs to complete to be eligible for the MCAT. He says he plans to have two done by the end of the summer with the other six in the books by the end of the upcoming school year. Then, if all goes well, begin researching medical schools. ?There?s no medical school in Idaho,? he lamented. ?I?d love it if there was.? The reason? For him, Boise fits. ?It?s a place that fits my personality,? he concluded. ?Not even all hockey, though the hockey was great ? the rink, the fans, the organization ? but just the city and the area in general. The city and area itself just fits my life interests; the hiking, the skiing, the fishing.? And the cycling? ?Oh yeah,? he said with a smile. ?It?s a great cycling community. Maybe I?ll come back and ride in the Twilight Criterium someday.?

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