Why do I play Hockey? | Teen Ink

Why do I play Hockey?

January 16, 2008
By Anonymous

Why do I play Hockey?

“Pick up the pucks and line up on the goal line”. Those eleven dreaded words signify the excruciating final part of practice. After a solid hour and a half filled with drills, systems and hard work, I skate over to the little red line where I know in the next two minutes the oxygen in my body will quickly vanish. Yet, I still skate over there. I look at my teammates tired gloomy faces and hope my appearance lacks same expression. I do not want to be viewed as fatigued or unconditioned as I have an essential game on Saturday.

My team forms three groups across the goal line, I hear my coach saying “On the whistle, skate to the far blue line, back to the red line, back to the far blue line, back to the near blue line, all the way to the other goal line and back…TWEEEEET!” Off we go on a thirty second sprint across the ice. I hear the girl beside me breathing heavily and rapidly, I refuse to let her succeed me. Halfway through my first set of suicides, I feel my lungs collapsing and my throat clamping shut denying me oxygen. Pushing through the pain and lack of air develops me into a better player. Leading by example and refusing to refrain from giving my best pushes me harder. Using this motivation, I attempt to force my feet to move faster. Doubt in my endurance quickly proliferates in my mind. In the midst of my denial, I feel as if I am going to lose consciousness prior to completing my skating. When all hope is deemed lost, I cannot help but question, “What the heck am I doing? Why do I do this to myself day in and day out?” Preoccupied with my exhaustion, I barely realize my skates successfully cross the dreaded little red line. Bending over long enough to regain my composure, I stand up in time to hear “Group one, you are up again, get on the goal line”

Sweating, working hard, muscle pain, spasms, bruises, constructive criticism, inner team drama, mistakes, scoring, assisting, losing and winning, is and example of what hockey players put themselves through everyday for their short four month season. Whether it be good times or bad times, we suffer through as a team. Winning streaks or losing streaks, we push through together. For those who play, hockey cannot be considered just another sport. It is an adrenaline rush; an ultimate joy. Trading the experience of the game of hockey can be categorized as unthinkable. You are on a team of best friends, who eventually become your family. I enjoy the late nights, bus trips, plane rides, wet smelly equipment, fast food, hotels and the stupid little things we involve ourselves with between games. I do not play hockey because someone told me too, I play because I love it. I play because I am good at it. I play because it is more than a game to me, it has become my life.

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