Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Ice Rink

My heart pounds as bile rises in the back of my throat.  I try to calm down by telling myself I do this every night, tonight is exactly the same as last night and the night before that.

Focusing away negative thoughts, I tug the laces again and again until they are tight.  I spend a full 10 minutes on the effort.  I roll the clear tape over my socks, making a big X from my ankle to my knee.  I pull on my helmet, fastening the straps, and yank the gloves over my fingers.

I breathe slowly a few times, fighting the rising panic.  I walk down the hallway and through the  swinging double doors.

I am hit immediately by the cold, frozen air.  It smells like rubber, sweat, and old gym bags.  For some reason I love that smell.  It is what finally puts a smile on my face.

Pucks crack loudly off sticks and echo as they slam the boards.  Sharpened blades dig into the ice, making a barely audible swish.

I enter the rink and all of a sudden, I am the same as everyone else.  I finally relax.  As we line up and run drill after drill, I know I am doing what I need to be doing, whether anyone else likes it or not.

This post was written in response to this week's RemembeRED post from Write on Edge. In “On Writing” Stephen King wrote, “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”  Write a memoir post – first-person and true – inspired by that statement.  Word limit is 300.
I knew I had to write about hockey again because I recently ran into my old hockey coach as well as the teammate who broke my heart.  You can read about that here.


  1. I love the sensory detail of this. You're really working to bring the reader into that rink. I like the details of the prep work, all of it.

    A thought..
    Sharpened blades dig into the ice, making a barely audible swish as players stop on a dime.

    I adore the sensory detail here. I bet you could trim it: "Sharpened blades dig into the ice, making a barely audible swish."

    It's just a bit cleaner, and it eliminates a cliche.

    But what do I know? ;-)

  2. I really the detail here as well, and agree with Nancy on being able to eliminate a cliche and tighten up the piece overall.

    I was totally with you. Well done!!

  3. I've said it before, and I'll say it again- you are *such* a badass. Love!

  4. Thank you all for the comments! I really appreciate all constructive criticism, and agree with what you said about making it tighter because I actually got really stuck writing that line. I knew it was clunky but I couldn't figure out how to make it better. So, thank you both for helping me out.