The Competitor

By , Argyle, TX
My stomach churned in anticipation of my turn at the vault. In the seconds leading up to my final event in the Olympics, my mind raced back to when I was five years old. I took my first gymnastics lesson as a petite five year old. My mind quickly danced through the highlights of my career. I recalled winning the Junior Olympics and Runner Up in the World Championships.

I then glanced over at my parents. They were nervously staring at me. Suddenly my name was called and it was time. It was time to perform a routine I had practiced a thousand times. God answered my prayer as a wave of peace poured over me. I was no longer nervous. I was ready to compete.

I mounted the vault. My toes gripped the edges as I prepared for my first pass. It was then that my body took over. My body went through the motions while my brain froze time. My body twisted, turned, tumbled, and flipped. A good vault score can only happen if one doesn’t fall off the vault. But the way to avoid falling is to not think about it. During the routine, falling was not an option and didn’t cross my mind. It was time for my dismount. I skipped across the beam and flipped into the air. I could see images of the crowd cross my vision. “Thud”, my feet hit the floor and my legs stiffened like cement.

The crowd stood and applauded my effort. They chanted “U.S.A.”. I hugged my parents and waited for my score. Win or lose, I had done my best and would be satisfied with the result. I had competed to the best of my ability.





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