All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
My Best Race
The cold metal of the bench stings my skin as I look from side to side sizing up my opponents. When the Marshal gives us our swim lanes, I stand up, holding myself tall, proud, and determined, trying to make the other kids see that I am going to beat them. We step up to the blocks. “Good luck!” my dad calls. I give him a thumbs up. I give my card to the Timer, and than turn around as Coach Andrew walks up.
“Connor, what are you going to do today?” he asks me.
“I’m aiming for a forty-one,” I reply.
“Get thirty-nine,” he tells me.
“But I don’t think I can do that,” I argue.
“Connor,” he says with smirk, “you can do it.”
“Alright,” I say, giving in. “I’ll try to get thirty-nine.” He really thinks I’m that good!
When the girls’ race is finally over, the Official calls: “Swimmers in event thirty-six, boys fifty freestyle, step up on your blocks.” I tighten my goggles, then clamber up the ladder. My feet grip the rough-as-sandpaper, cloud-white block.
The Official says into the microphone, “Swimmers, take your marks…” Then the horn blares. I throw my body forward and my feet behind me, soaring gracefully into the cool sheet of water, bubbles streaming out behind me. I feel a rush of adrenaline as I pump my legs.
As I started to surface, my eyes darted from side to side, judging how far my start placed me. Yes! I was at least a body length in front of the other swimmers. As my body comes out of the water, I take a stroke. Then another. And another, until I was going faster than I ever had. Soon I got into a rhythm: stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke, breath, stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke, breath.
As I flew past the flags, I took one more breath, then flung my head down and my legs up, pulling myself into a flip turn. I blasted past the flags again, seeing that most of the others weren’t even coming into the wall yet. I can do this! I’ve won already! I flew past the flags at the end of the pool, and practically slam into the wall. I glance at the other lanes, seeing that the other guys never had a chance. I pull myself out of the pool and gasp: “How fast?”
“Thirty-nine,” Coach tells me, “Told you-you could do it.”
“I did!” I grin as the lady hands me my heat winner ribbon. YES! I did do it, and I had gotten three seconds better than my best. I had really done it.