4,999 Girls and Me | Teen Ink

4,999 Girls and Me MAG

By Anonymous

   I have played center forward on my school's girls' ice hockey team for the lastthree years, but I never realized how special that was until this winter. When Iwent to buy equipment, a salesman asked if I was looking for the tennis orbasketball section. When I asked where the hockey equipment was, he looked at mewith surprise and said he wasn't sure they had a girls' hockey section. I smiledand explained that the equipment is the same no matter who's using it, and walkedin the direction he pointed.

Just before Christmas I went with a friend toNew York City to skate at Rockefeller Center. On the ice with us was a ladyfigure skating. She was amazing, jumping and spinning. We watched, fascinated,and finally started skating ourselves.

We weren't doing anything special,but I could tell there were more people watching us than the figure skater. Whenwe skated fast and stopped dead at the wall, two boys copied us sloppily. Thosewatching laughed quietly. That was when I realized that although the woman figureskating had more talent, we were a rarer sight: girls on ice hockey skates whowere not falling over or being led around by boyfriends.

Finally, hockeyseason came, bringing practices. Since our school doesn't have a hockey rink, weplay at a neighboring

school's rink. Like most schools in New York, itdoesn't have a girls' team, so when the boys come out to practice after us, theyalways come a little early either to make fun of us, or just to see a femaleversion of ice hockey. I think we im-pressed them after we showed off abit.

At Christmas my best present was a hockey jersey from my favoriteteam, the Pittsburgh Penguins. I wore it to play pond hockey, and though I mayhave looked like an idiot, I didn't care. I was better than a lot of the machoguys there, which made it even funnier. As I sat to take off my skates, a womanasked if I played hockey. I told her I did, at school. She thought it was greatand said I inspired young girls everywhere, showing them they have as good achance as anyone to succeed. I told my dad how strange her comment seemed. Hesaid that only 5,000 girls in the country play ice hockey. Just thinking that myteam and I make up a part - a small part - of those 5,000 not only made me feelas though I will always need to play the sport, but as though I will always wantto.

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