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Short Quick Breaths

By , North Riverside, IL
“C’mon Sean, you can do this!”
“Swimmers, on your mark. Get set…”

Stay calm; it’s just a race, like any other one. But why do I feel so weak and hwy does my head hurt? Never mind, shake it off. Ok, it’s only the 500-yard medley, I can do this. I just have to focus and keep a steady pace. This is what I’ve been training for. Just have to stay calm and remember my training.
“Go!”
500 yards, crap, that was a terrible dive in. Should I speed up to make up for it? No, I’ll save my energy; I’ll make it up later. Darn, these lights are really bright. Forget that, focus. Remember, short quick breaths, short quick breaths, short quick breaths.
400 yards, keep things steady. How fast am I actually going? Am I going too slow? What place am I in? What is my time so far? If I speed up I might get too tired too soon. But if I don’t go fast enough, I wont win. What should I do? I have to keep the person ahead of me insight. I have to win at least second place to qualify. Remember, short quick breaths, shorts quick breaths.
300 yards, what the hell? Why did I even join swimming? I hate it! Its so tiring and I just want to quit right now. I am so ready to just stop and get out of the pool and go home. And now my leg is starting to cramp. God, I am really mad right now. I am really frustrated and irritated with this whole swimming thing. SH*T! I could scream that through the whole race. Why didn’t I just join the bowling team? Could have made my life so much easier. I have to continue. I have to push myself. I have to prove to family that I can do it. Can’t quit now, half way there. Remember short quick breaths.
200 yards. More than half way there. I think I’m doing really well. Got to stay positive. Can’t get cocky, can’t slow down. From here I can only pick up my pace. But I’m so exhausted. I’m ready to die right now. I can’t feel my legs. They are just moving on their own, like a machine. Why would I ever need to swim this far this fast when there are no sharks in Lake Huron? What’s my time so far? Am I winning? Can’t worry about that. Just don’t slow down. Focus on race. Remember.
100 yards, last one. I can do this. I have to go all out, right here, right now. I have to try to sprint this even though I can’t feel my legs. It’s almost over. I think I’m almost there. Why have these last several minutes been so long? It seems like its been forever. I must finish strong. I see the end of the pool; it’s going to be over any--

“Doctor, is he going to be ok?”
“Yes, he took quite a nasty fall there at the pool. He lost a lot of blood, and he might be having some hallucinations, and he might be feeling very weak. Just watch out and make sure he takes his medication, and make sure he’s taking nice long, slow, and easy breaths. He has been breathing very quickly.”





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