How Visiting the Local Arena Changed My Life

Our Everly Mag Writing Leaders were asked to write about a place they’ve visited that changed their life in some way.  It can be a place they’ve visited on a vacation, summer camp, school trip, family reunion, or anything else.

This article was written by our writing leader Mikayla.  Get to know our Summer 2018 Leaders here!

For me, the most impactful place I’ve ever been is the arena in my area. Playing travel hockey means I spend a lot of time there. I can be there for hours on end, especially in the heart of winter. Oddly, I always miss it when we’re on a break. It’s such an important part of my life, I don’t know how things would be if I never stepped foot in the arena.

When I was a young kid, I didn’t care much for hockey and skating. I was a dancer and I had no interest in other sports. I had been to our local arena but never did I have a memorable experience.

When I was eight years old or so, my younger sister started playing hockey. The arena became a place I went more often. My family and I would be there early mornings and late nights and it became a home for us. My sisters and I played tag with the other kids and found the best hiding spots for hide and seek. We just felt so comfortable there so quickly.

The next year, my other sister and I became hockey players as well. I really feel like all of our great memories that we made in that first year really drove us to play hockey. We got to be with people that we considered our family. The arena was the only place that we would get to see them because we are all from different surrounding cities. We would come earlier or stay late and just talk and spend time with our friends. These are people that we have so much in common with that being friends is so easy. We’ve now gone on vacations and family dinners with some of them.

Image via City of Toronto website

The arena is where my love for hockey began. Hockey is my passion and has taught me so many lessons. Before that first season we spent at the rink, I didn’t care about hockey one bit. Spending so much time there really changed my perception of the sport and made me fall in love with it.

Along with giving me hockey, being around the arena and the sports showed me what my biggest career goal is. If I had never gone into that arena, I probably wouldn’t want to work in sports. I wouldn’t know the impact that sports has made on so many lives. Being in the arena gives me an up close look at the different stories that come from each individual game or team.

Image via: City of Fort Saskatchewan website


When I go into the arena, I am always happy. Walking in and feeling the cold air and seeing the fresh sheet of ice is something that can put a smile on any hockey player’s face. I’m with people who build me up. The people who I see at the rink on a regular basis are people that I consider family. This is one of the biggest things that changed because of my visits to the arena. Having so many people in the community who support me and want what’s best.

Personally, I’ve never had the chance to visit different countries or landmarks that impacted my life, partly because of my commitment to hockey and sports. Instead I’ve spent long hours in some of the coldest, oldest rinks you can image. Would I trade the moments spent in the rink for any of that? No chance because the rink is home to most of my greatest memories. The change room chats with the girls I consider my best friends, the wins, the losses, the post game pizza parties. The blood, sweat and lots of tears shed in that building. These are the moments that I will remember for the rest of my life and the times that have shaped me into the person that I am today. I don’t think there is anywhere else that could change my life and helped me more than the arena that I consider my home.

Image via: Pinterest

Has playing a sport changed your life? Comment below!  

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