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Noisy Crowds, Crowded Locker Rooms, and Smooth Ice


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“Are you ready?” my dad questions.
“Yep!” I respond jumping out of his truck.
The faint squeak of the door allowed me to enter a place that I will forever remember. I started playing hockey in eighth grade. My dad played hockey all his childhood and still plays today. My brothers, eleven-year-old fifth graders, are also beginning to play hockey. After one roar of the crowd and encouragement from our coaches, my teammates and I storm onto the ice. The cheers begin.
Placing my hand on the cold handle, I throw the glass door open. With my black bag over my shoulder and composite stick in my hand, I make my way into the lobby. As soon as I step inside, the smell of salty pretzels and rich nachos pleases my senses. The echo of pucks banging off boards fills my ears. In the lobby, I see gleaming coaches talking with parents and squealing kids running around boasting about there win. I check the shiny whiteboard to see my team has locker room #2.
I walk down the glowing hallway to the locker rooms. When I reach locker room #2, I push the pale blue door open. The loud voices of my teammates welcome me in. I find an open spot on one of the crowded benches. The smell of bitter sweat fills my nose. After getting comfortable, I reach into my bag for my black tape. Ever so carefully, I tape my stick. I then apply sticky wax to the curved ends. The thundering of the buzzer warns me that our game is about to start. The blue door swings back open and our coaches enter.
At this time, my teammates and I all huddle together as Matt Lamonica leads us in the kill drill. Silently, the team captains lead our team down the narrow hallway from the locker room to the gate. When we reach the tall glistening gate, the bright lights from the rink appear. Nervously, I look ahead at the freshly zambonied ice. I quickly pop on the remaining loose straps to my helmet. The referees blow the whistle and we rush onto the smooth misty ice.
The already noisy crowd becomes louder as we fly past the gate. Four laps quickly warm me up and a rush of adrenaline darts through my veins. I chew on one side of my tasteless blue mouthpiece as the sound of shloshing ice sooths me. I glance up in the stands to the bleachers to see a gigantic crowd. The buzzer screams, and my team and I make our way over the boards.
“This is our game. We’ve already beat this team twice,” yelled coach Overmann, “Lets do it again!”
The roars from the fans end as a playing of the national anthem comes on. Hockey is not just a sport but a way of life…my way of life, and I hope to play it for as long as I live. If you or your kids haven’t ever played hockey, I encourage you to try it out. It changed my life…it can change yours too.




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brainiac said...
Feb. 13, 2010 at 7:25 pm:
I admire the vivid sensory images. Very good!
 
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