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My True Home

I walk in and felt the arctic air, resisting the urge to shiver because I knew that I will end up hotter than if I had been in sauna. There are a few people covering the ice, edges crunching like leaves in the fall and spins faster than a top. People’s tears and sweat are mixing together like salt and water, it was preposterous to even try and tell the difference. The grin that light up my face was brighter than the sun as I laced on my skates.

The callus that covered my hands acted as armor to prevent the pain of the friction that I had once been so used to. The laces tighten the boot and my foot felt like I had just put a child’s shoe on. The cramps in my non-existent arches made my feet felt like I had just written thousands of papers. I thought of the savings for the perfect custom skates I wanted and pushed on, knowing I would be happier than a kid trapped in Disney World once I got on the ice. I stepped on the surface that was as smooth as a newly shaved head, happy that I did not have to try and skate on the sandpaper ice. They had just zambonined. The wind rushed through my hair as if I was on a swing as I took my first few strokes. The air was crisp and even with the slight smell of gas from the Zamboni; I did not know anything fresher.

My leg was stretching like a giraffe reaching for food and my foot was pointed like a ballerina en pointe. I turned mohawked backwards, preparing to jump. My little jumps were barley as tall as the first rung on a ladder while other people on the ice were jumping as high as a ladder. I was a baby deer learning to walk compared to the others. I felt like I was on a roller coaster as I ran through my program, up in the air, lunging on the ice, and spinning of control. That part not planned. I had once again messed up my spin and I became more frustrated than someone trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. I tried again and again, even after the initial fatigue kicked in. I knew that making myself and my coach proud that I had done it would make me feel like a child that had finally gotten their parents approval, rather than the disappointment I felt now.

I glanced up to see my Dad watching me. I grimaced at him. He rolled his eyes, knowing how easily I became frustrated. He was at almost every practice, lesson, and competition. He was my personal cheerleader. I went back to work, taking a breath so deep that I could have swam to the bottom of the ocean. The one hour I had available for the day went by faster than a cheetah running an inch. Skating time always went faster than the rest of life.

I stroked of the ice that was now sandpaper as the roar of the Zamboni alerted everyone on the ice to its presence. I walked slowly to my bag. As I unlaced my skates I was once again glad for the calluses that prevented any friction. I wiped the blades down with the care that one would take with a baby. I made sure that the soakers where in place before inserting the deoriderizers. I started out the door to go my house and leave my true home.




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