The First Time I....

October 13, 2017

As the whistle shrieked I knew that I had to get across this frozen plain to the other side of the rink before anyone else could so that coach could think more highly of me. I was soaring through the ice like a jet ski ripping through the waves of the ocean. My coach and I couldn’t have been happier with my performance as I reached my destination with no competitor in sight. But let’s take this all back to the very beginning.

 

It was 5:45 when I arrived at the hockey rink, upon entering I was greeted by the head coach. Coach Lowe showed me where the tryouts were going to take place. It was dark and so cold that I felt like I was going to get frostbite, the rink was so silent. I could hear my own thoughts discussing irrelevant manners in my head. After admiring the beautiful view of the ice rink, Coach Lowe took me into the locker room. I’ve never seen such a spacious locker room in my life. It’s like you could fit 100 airplanes in that room, It was filled with wooden cubbies for everyone on the team and the walls were our city’s colors. It was like my own personal palace, I was so eager to find my own cubbie that I didn’t even notice all of my teammates getting dressed for tryouts. As I went to sit down on the left side of the locker room I was given a confused and ill-tempered look by everyone in the room. It was an awkward silence until the starting center of the last years team, spoke up and informed me that the ‘freshies’ sit in the right side corner. I didn’t see why it mattered, but I didn’t want to cause a fuss so I quietly moved into the corner and began getting ready for the tryouts.


As I step on the ice I notice that the older kids who had already made the team the previous year were still giving me dirty looks, I didn’t understand why he was looking at me that way. The coach came onto the ice and stated using a voice as hard iron that this was not going to be an easy day and anyone who is not willing to give their all should not be on the ice. When he said that the older boys started to look at me as if they were hinting to me that I don’t belong here. I disregarded their negative looks and began doing the drills that our coach told us to do. First we had to stick-handle through small orange cones and when we made it to the end, shoot on the goalie. Upon going through the cones as swiftly as a deer running through the forest I took a hard wrist shot that hit the top bar into the net. I was happy for myself, but after heading back to the line I heard the other kids saying how it was a lucky shot and the only reason I’m on this team is because my last name has opened more opportunities for me and my brother made a name for our family. I knew that they were right, but only half right. Yes, my brother did popularize our last name, but I am here on this day to expand our name and give it more meaning. I don’t want them to only see one brother making a name for himself, I want them to see the brother’s side by side, not one better than the other, but them equal to each other.


After practice was done, I was terrified that the kids had an effect on the coach’s decision and that I was going to get cut. Then I realized that I shouldn’t care what they think or what they have done or tried to do to get me off this team. Even if I didn’t make it, I was proud of myself for trying and believing in myself. No matter what I’m not going to let other people put me down and I will stand up for myself. Later that day the coach had called me, and I began to sweat as if I  were in a sweat lodge for hours. He told me that I made the team without a second thought.






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