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The Moment I Knew

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BAM! The center for the Yale hockey team was checked hard against the boards right in front of my dad and me. I was sitting in the front row watching the game late one Friday night. I was eight years old and I was so pumped about watching the game!

The score was 1-1. It was late in the first period with 2 minutes left. I always got so into the games and was ecstatic every time Yale scored a goal. After that hard check, Yale had the puck in their offensive zone. They took a fast slap shot towards the goal, but didn’t score. They took a few more shots on net when one shot missed the net. The opposing defenseman picked up the puck and skated it out of the zone. He passed the puck up to one of his linemen and the other team took a shot on Yale’s goalie but this shot didn’t make it in either.
The exciting plays went back and forth and I found my mind going back over and over to one thought. I couldn’t decide whether to say it out loud but finally I half-screamed over the booming roar of the crowd,
“Dad, can I play hockey!?”

I’m not sure how long it took him to react (seconds, minutes, maybe hours?) but it seemed like an eternity as I waited for a reply. I would take anything, a simple nod, as long as he was going to let me play. I’m not sure what happened during that wait, but it seemed like the crowd went completely silent. All my focus was on my Dad.

“Sure, you can try playing if you want to!” my Dad replied over the rambunctious roar of the crowd.

I couldn’t believe it! I was so happy! I couldn’t wait to get on the ice and try to play hockey. I knew that I would love to play because of how much I loved watching hockey. Then I pictured myself playing in college or the NHL, with thousands of people watch me and my teammates play. I doubted that this would really happen but I knew anything was possible.

Now almost 7 seasons later, I’m still thrilled that I made the decision to play hockey. I still love playing the sport and I get onto the ice up to 5 times a week. And who knows, if I keep practicing, I may still make it to the NHL!





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