Each week during a home series, OhioStateBuckeyes.com will talk with a selected member of the women’s hockey team. This week, get to know junior defenseman Teal Bishop. The assistant captain discusses spending time off the ice between Mexico and Alaska, spending time outdoors and her brother, Hunter, who also plays for Ohio State.
You grew up in Alaska, but spend a lot of time in Mexico with your family.
I was actually just in Mexico for a week with my brother then we went to Alaska. That was sad and depressing. It’s such a shock adjusting to the climate and the lack of daylight. Growing up, I wasn’t home in the winter much since my freshman year of high school. All the sunlight and energy is gone. It’s freezing and it’s so dark. We were home during the winter solstice and there was only three hours of dim daylight. It makes you tired 24-7 and you can’t tell what time it is.
Growing up, do you remember it like that?
Growing up it wasn’t an issue. We didn’t have blinds – we didn’t need them. But in the summer, it’s sunny all the time. It’s never pitch black; it only gets dim.
Did you soak it all in during the summer then?
The summer up there is so short and there’s so much light. We would take advantage of it and do a lot of outdoor activities.
Did you remember doing anything at strange times just because it was light then?
Four of us rode a moped across town in the middle of the night. There are always people out and you lose track of time. You think it’s either earlier or later than it is. You think it’s 6 p.m. and it’s really 10 p.m.
Were you outdoorsy growing up?
In elementary school, my best friend and our dads would go hunting. As little kids we would be out hunting with our friends and family. We went on fishing trips and went camping. There’s not a lot to do – no mall to hang out in. Every weekend in high school we were planning camping trips.
Do you do that a lot still?
I would like to do it more now, but I’m sure I will once I’m done with hockey.
Those trips had to bring your family close.
It was great bonding. We would be out in the wilderness with no hustle and bustle. No cell phones or technology. It was a great way to bond for sure. For years we would go a week and a half down to Homer, Alaska, about 14 hours south of Fairbanks. It was down on the coast and we would bring wet suits and go tubing and on the water or bring 4-wheelers and go along the river. It was our family and two other families – a camping extravaganza.
Compared to your teammates, you have to be the one that could survive the most if you guys were put in a “Man vs. Wild” type situation.
[Laughing] I could definitely do it. I feel like I could fend for myself, figure out how to hunt and fish. Do a moose call.
Your older brother, Hunter, also is at Ohio State and in his second season with the men’s team. How has it been having him here?
It’s nice having him here. During our high school years, first he left then I left and we didn’t see each other too much. Both of us being at Ohio State has brought us closer together. We have a lot in common too, so that helps.
You both enjoy your time in Mexico, but who is the better salsa dancer?
I don’t know. He’s getting better, but I could still beat him.
You listen to salsa music pregame?
It’s more like Spanish hip-hop with a salsa beat. It makes be happy and upbeat. It pumps me up.
Lastly, you were voted an assistant captain this season. What does that mean to you?
It is a huge honor for my teammates to nominate me for that. It’s nice to know people thought I was important to the team and thought I would be good at relaying things back and forth between the team and coaches. I think I’m good at communicating between the coaches and the team.
Do you think that’s your strength?
I’m a pretty open person. I state an opinion when I have one, but like to keep the peace. I’m a lover, not a fighter.
What is your favorite warm-up song to get you pumped up?
“Bring it on” by Daddy Yankee featuring Akon
Is there any story behind your number, 6?
Growing up I was always 66 because my brother was 66. My little sister wore 66 too. We always followed him. I picked 6 when I got to college because there was no 66.
Do you have any superstitions?
Not really. I’m not too superstitious. It varies game to game, but if I play good or if I play bad I make sure I do or don’t do something again.
How do you get warmed up for the game?
Usually I go into the training room and heat anything that’s sore. I get my ankle taped then warm up with the team. I do some extra stretches and then chew some gum. I wait until the last minute to get dressed and get right on the ice.
Who is the most influential person in your hockey career?
I would say my brother. He was always good and skilled and motivated on the ice. He would be out shooting pucks and that would make me want to go out too. We would play 1-on-1. He was really motivational for me.