November 8, 2007
By Julie Maurer, Bellingham, WA

It’s a quarter to five and my alarm goes off, buzzing obnoxiously. I dress in my old black suit that is barely held together by fragments of string, my black warm-up pants and a navy blue swim fast sweatshirt. This was the third time in a row that I’ve gotten up at 4:45 to go to swim practice. I really did not want to swim. I woke up feeling as if my back was covered in bruises. I’m going to practice again this evening. I sure hope Mark doesn’t have us do anything terribly hard. I don’t think I have the strength to swim even a twenty-five yard fly. But I don’t care. Exhausted or not I’m getting up Friday too make a grand total of four double day practices in a row! I hope I can sleep in on Saturday. If I cant I’m going to die. But it doesn’t matter. I know I can do it. I made it into the senior group with a threshold of one thirty. You’re supposed to get under one twenty but for some odd reason Mark still let me move up when I turned thirteen. All the other seniors are in high school and are a lot faster than me. If I can train hard all season I’m sure I’ll be able to catch up. In fact, I know I can do it! I’ve never trained this hard in all my six years as a swimmer but I’m positive that I can do it. I’m a senior aren’t I? Even though I’m one of the slowest seniors I think Mark knew that I was ready. My goal for this season is to make eight practices every week. I know I can do it. I’m sure of it. This season’s going to be the best one yet. I’m going to drop a bunch of time on all my events and hopefully qualify for PNS. I’m not going to say that I know that I’ll qualify for PNS but I think I can. I try every year to make it and I never do so hopefully this season will be different. I am now finishing up my vanilla power bar and apple sauce, my swim bag is packed, and its five o’clock.

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