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I hit one knee on the ice, placing most of my weight on my stick. I try to take a few deep breaths, but that is easier said than done for an asthmatic like me. I close my eyes, cursing my lungs for rebelling. Then I curse myself for putting them through this. Just when I'm thinking I should crawl off the frozen abyss and be a normal, lazy kid whose athletic activities stop at NHL for the Xbox, something hits me on the back of the legs. Drawing what I am sure is the last gasp of my strength, I turn to see my teammate tapping the back of my shin pad with his stick. As he tells me I will be okay, he extends a hand, pulling me up off the ice and back into the practice line. Ice hockey is a brutal sport, but as the only girl on a varsity boys' team, I have learned how to take a hit. The most difficult challenge is not a crushing check, but my own body. I often tell myself I would be better off if I were just out of shape. At least in that case there would be a solution. No matter how many extra laps I skate or shots I take, I cannot outrun my asthma. But that doesn't mean I can't overcome it. For my doctor, who advises me every time I come down with a cold or upper respiratory infection to stay off the ice, asthma is an enormous obstacle. According to my mom, I risk my life playing the game I love. The truth is that both of them, while qualified to make those assessments, could not be more wrong. For me asthma has not been an obstacle, but a reason to keep going. When I can't take those deep breaths while my teammates are sucking air so effortlessly, I remind myself that I am still lucky. Hockey is a game that not everyone has the opportunity to play, and I could not, in good conscience, throw my chance away due to respiratory problems. At the end of practice, although I am often winded and grateful for the chance to catch my breath, I don't think about the number of times I had to reach for my inhaler. Instead, as I undo the Velcro on my pads and untie my skates, I am always smiling. I'm an asthmatic girl playing a "man's game," and that is a fact I cannot change. However, in the long run, I wouldn't change a thing about my athletic life. Playing boys' hockey has given me the chance to do something that no other sport ever has: to overcome not just the limitations placed on me by others, but also the limitations my body has placed on itself.
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An asthmatic girl playing a
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An Asthmatic Girl Playing A "man's Game"

Words: 480    Pages: 2    Paragraphs: 5    Sentences: 25    Read Time: 01:44
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              I hit one knee on the ice, placing most of my weight on my stick. I try to take a few deep breaths, but that is easier said than done for an asthmatic like me. I close my eyes, cursing my lungs for rebelling. Then I curse myself for putting them through this. Just when I'm thinking I should crawl off the frozen abyss and be a normal, lazy kid whose athletic activities stop at NHL for the Xbox, something hits me on the back of the legs. Drawing what I am sure is the last gasp of my strength, I turn to see my teammate tapping the back of my shin pad with his stick. As he tells me I will be okay, he extends a hand, pulling me up off the ice and back into the practice line.
             
             
              Ice hockey is a brutal sport, but as the only girl on a varsity boys' team, I have learned how to take a hit. The most difficult challenge is not a crushing check, but my own body. I often tell myself I would be better off if I were just out of shape. At least in that case there would be a solution. No matter how many extra laps I skate or shots I take, I cannot outrun my asthma. But that doesn't mean I can't overcome it.
             
              For my doctor, who advises me every time I come down with a cold or upper respiratory infection to stay off the ice, asthma is an enormous obstacle. According to my mom, I risk my life playing the game I love. The truth is that both of them, while qualified to make those assessments, could not be more wrong. For me asthma has not been an obstacle, but a reason to keep going. When I can't take those deep breaths while my teammates are sucking air so effortlessly, I remind myself that I am still lucky. Hockey is a game that not everyone has the opportunity to play, and I could not, in good conscience, throw my chance away due to respiratory problems.
             
              At the end of practice, although I am often winded and grateful for the chance to catch my breath, I don't think about the number of times I had to reach for my inhaler. Instead, as I undo the Velcro on my pads and untie my skates, I am always smiling.
             
              I'm an asthmatic girl playing a "man's game," and that is a fact I cannot change. However, in the long run, I wouldn't change a thing about my athletic life. Playing boys' hockey has given me the chance to do something that no other sport ever has: to overcome not just the limitations placed on me by others, but also the limitations my body has placed on itself.
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