one for the ages

January 11, 2009
By
“Don’t give up because they are bigger or stronger than you. Look them in the eye and say to them, let’s race,” were the words of an incredibly bright math teacher, my swim coach, Mike.
He had just had a huge conversation about how I should swim the two hundred meter butterfly. He told me stay strong, but pace yourself. Coach Mike said to forget about the pain and finish the race strong.
At the meet that weekend I was extremely nervous and impatient. I really wanted to get this swim over with, even though I was dreading the moment when I had to go to the starting blocks. Just then is when I heard it, the announcer called event number fifty-nine, I had to go swim. I walked into the pool area and the smell and taste of chlorine filled the air. All I could here was the yelling of swimmers and parents around me.
I walked over to my coach, he had something else to say to me, “Don’t be afraid and don’t set limits for yourself because there are not any.”
“Yeah sure, no limits,” I thought to myself as I nodded in agreement to my coach.
I went over to the starting blocks and started to stretch in front of lane four. My friend, Rachel, was also swimming this event in lane seven and her and I had never swum this and were both terribly nervous. I put my goggles on and heard the scratchy voice of the official telling us to get up on the blocks.
I looked down at what seemed like twenty feet deep and a mile long pool. It looked as if it were going to drown and swallow me when I jumped in.
Silence filled the natatorium just before I climb onto the blocks to begin my race which appeared to be the same height as the Himalayan Mountains.
“Take your mark, beep,” was all I heard right before a lunged into the chilly blue water of the Woodlands pool. The beep sounded like the scream of girl when she sees a bung and it stung my ears. And the chlorine water filled one side of my goggles and burned my eyes out.
A few seconds into the race I was dying and out of breathe, though in that same moment the word of my coach filled my head, “don’t give yourself limits.” At that precise moment in time I released that all my years of swimming I had given myself limits, and had not actually gone as fast as I could have. After those few seconds of realization I had tried as hard as could, even though by the end of the race I was dying again.
I soon realized getting first is not what my coach wanted me to do he wanted me to realize there were not any limits. I had done that very thing during my two hundred meter swim. My coach so proud, but most of all I was proud too.





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gloriasinferno37 said...
Nov. 30, 2010 at 10:41 am

Nice job wiith the story!

 

 
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