By Rochelle Bergman

On Wednesdays, I go to the local University and help the radio station. I teach students how to write announcements and commercials for non-profit organizations.
Part of my job is to write announcements for local activities that are free or near free for the students.

One of these free activities is located at the local Park and Recreation Arena. This arena has swimming, gyms, free weights, trainers to help you, kids activities and much more.
They also have year round skating!

When I read this my heart skipped a few beats. Besides loving hockey, no other sport has interested me to buy equipment like skating. C’mon, you know that feeling? The one that starts at your head and slowly continues down your back, sparking up glowing embers of light and energy. Automatically, my fingers started to curl and to do the motions of tying up my skates.

I caught a whiff of ice in the air and for just a minute, I was back at a ice rink!

At that exact second my mind got hold of a few questions that boggled me:
Do you need to like skating to enjoy hockey? Could you dislike skating but love hockey?

I also thought about my skating past. I did take lessons for awhile. I can skate with one foot off of the ice. My teacher also taught me a few times how to jump barrels when wearing dangerous skates.

Dangerous to my mom maybe, to me it was like freedom! Jumping into the air without care was something I have never felt since then. The feeling of doing it, and missing all the barrels was amazing to me. It was inspiring and well, I guess it meant something because I remember it like it was yesterday. I guess it could be in part that I had no fear of missing the barrels?

I remember now, rather my feet remember the blisters, and the red sore spots on my heels, toes and arches. I was born with a club foot. I had three operations on it and the foot is 2-3 sizes smaller than the other foot. Skating was one exercise that the doctor said could make my foot stronger.

When I say ice skates, my feet start to ache by themselves. They both moan the words that I hold dearly to my heart- bandages! Bring the assorted and adhesive type, please for us, my heel screams!

There was another thing I was taught at that time. I taught myself and you, my reader is the first to know. I was seated in the skating teacher’s office and I noticed a sign:
‘office’, I thought it read ‘off ice’. I thought that it was a stupid sign because obviously I knew,  “I am not out on the ice right now.” But just like Henderson felt a second after scoring that famous goal against Russia, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Rochelle, I screamed to myself, it reads ‘office’!!!

That is my hockey past.
I still love skating, it is the only activity that I dream about doing. I like skating backwards and facing front. I love the smell and the smoothness of the ice. I enjoy seeing the lights dancing off of the glare of my eyeglasses. I enjoy the feeling of my mitts and wearing warm clothes when it is hot outside. I enjoy skating to the music, pretending I am a figure skater doing my Olympic routine or a hockey player like Henderson, scoring the final and most important goal of the century.

Please, if you see someone jumping barrels or if you see someone reading an ‘office’ sign, near the ice rink- please let them be.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, her team is always the Toronto Maple Leafs. Instead of falling for movie stars, Rochelle fell for hockey players. As she grew up, her passion grew to include wanting to be the first female NHL player, the first female 'water' girl for her team and catching a true NHL puck. She did try for the puck, only to learn that A) the puck could have killed her, if she tried to get it or B) you needed to buy one. Years later Rochelle still loves the game! Now a days instead of wanting to join the players, (don't let her fool you, she still wants to join the team) she writes about them. Her one wish in the world is to be alive when the Toronto Maple Leafs win their next Stanley Cup! Rochelle has a certificate in Marketing/Communications at the British Columbia School of Technology and a writing certificate from Simon Fraser University. She has started her own writing company, "From Rochelle's Pen".

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