My Backyard Ice Rink

Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

“Play with passion and heart. If you don’t carry passion into the sport – or into any job for that matter – you won’t succeed.” The words of Bruins legend Phil Esposito echoed through my mind as I painstakingly laced up my skates, my fingers made raw by the crisp winter air. I was eager to experience the wind through the long "hockey hair" I had grown out since sophomore year, along with the sound of the ice crunching beneath my skates, the ring of the puck as it rattled in the net, and the ripple of energy through my hands that accompanies a hard snap-shot. I was in the place I went to reflect and to pursue my passion – my backyard ice rink.

To many, my rink may be just a patch of ice on a tarp inside a wooden frame, but to me it was so much more. It was the place I went to clear my mind and escape the pressure of balancing my social life with my workload as an AP student. On top of that, it was the place I went in order to fine-tune my hockey skills and practice the game I love; this small rink turned me into my high school team captain and Hobey Baker Award winner. It was also the place where I decided what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Over the course of my junior year of high school, I felt lost, uncertain about...

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