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I sprung of the diving block! Into the water, kicking and pulling as hard as I could. Kicking of the wall gliding as much as I could, then BAM!
I swim at the JCC, on the gold competition team. I wasn’t very good. I would swim in the back lanes all the time, because I couldn’t keep up. I always got made fun of by the bigger, faster kids, “Hey Liam, guess what… YOU SUCK AT SWIMMING,” says the fastest kid on the team, Bobby. I would just walk away, feeling like a wimp, because I had nothing to say.
I kept begging my parents to let me quit the team, but it was way too much money to join. They also didn’t know what was going on during the practices.
“How was practice, Liam?” My parents used to ask. I had three answers to pick from when I heard that question.
“WHY DO YOU ALWAYS ASK THE SAME QUESTION!?”
Completely lie and say, “Great!”
The next day, practice was going great. Nobody was picking on me, until I asked to go to the bathroom. Then a thought popped into my head. “Hey, maybe if I do some push-ups or something, I’ll go faster in the pool!” So I ran over into the carpeted area of the locker room. I got down to start, then I heard the locker room door close. So I just figured it was just an old dude coming back from racket ball. Then I focused again and started to attempt some push-ups. I was really out of shape so I was struggling and breathing really hard. I’ve done about four until I couldn’t take any more. So I dropped to the ground and let out a huge sigh. Then I heard some muffled laughing. I look up, and obviously Bobby is standing there laughing and taking a video of me with his phone.
I got up and bolted after him. Bobby ran right onto the pool deck and shouted, “Hey everybody, I just saw Liam trying to do push-ups in the locker room, but he was to fat to do any!” Roars of laughter came from the pool. Even the coaches were giggling a little. I was just standing there, nothing I could do or say. I just ran. Threw some clothes on and dashed out of the JCC, with my hood on hoping no one would see me. I hid in the bushes waiting for my mom to come.
When I got home I decided I needed this to stop. I realized that the only way I could do this was to get better at swimming.
I had no idea what to do next. Eat healthier? Run? Work out? I couldn’t figure out. So I decided what stroke I was going to improve in. Breast Stroke. I went nuts over the breast stroke. I researched it, I watched videos of great breast strokers, and I used the chest press in gym class. I practiced form on my floor! I did everything!
I could see my improvement in practices. In breast stroke I wasn’t last anymore. But nowhere close to Bobby.
When I got to the race during the weekend I had a terrible feeling in my stomach and I was shaking. Then I heard, “BOYS-11 AND 12-50 YARD-BREAST STROKE.” I walked up to the blocks and saw that Bobby was in the same race as me. “Liam you’re doing the breast stroke…ha-ha you’re gunna die! And of course that boosted my confidence.
We all got on the blocks. Swimmers take you’re mark…GO. I sprung of the block, full power. Kicking and pulling as hard as I could. Glide, up, breath, repeating this cycle. The only thing I’m thinking of is winning. Last 20 yards, 10, 5, and then BAM. I attacked the wall for a perfect finish. I looked to the left and right, nobody was there. I did it! I came in first and beat Lesko!
Later on I ended 3rd in the league in breast stroke. Also I stopped getting picked on and swam in the fast lane during practice. Best of all I got Respect.