The Splash I Will Never Forget

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One cold March, Friday morning that high pitched annoying sound of my alarm rang throughout my room. Getting up from the warm fuzzy blankets just didn’t feel right, the comfort made me want to fall asleep all over again. Reluctantly, slowly and heavily I sauntered out of bed, and made myself some eggs. They were a bit dry, because I am not the best cook but I tried. Today was the big day, the day that I get to swim in the Junior Olympics. I had been so excited that I packed my bags two weeks before the big day. Today I got to skip school for a swim meet! I had never in my life skipped school for something like this, only if I was sick, so I felt very special, but it wasn’t the time to think about that, it was game time. My mom, dad and I got in the car. This year the Junior Olympics were in Holt, Michigan, an hour drive from where we live in Whitmore Lake. I was so nervous; I had butterflies in my stomach. We got lost on the way but since we left early, that was okay. We got to the Holt pool at about six thirty. My coach was waiting for me on deck. The Pinckney Pirates had a small section by the score board to sit while we were waiting for our events to start. The nervousness was racing through me like a jet. I had a sudden rush of excitement and jumped up and down several times, my feet pounding against the white small tiles of the pool deck. I sat down for a while too cool down, and suddenly every noise was ten times louder and I began to get a pounding headache. The empty pool glistened from the bright lights shining overhead, able to see my reflection in the water I fixed my hair which was sloppy because my hands were shaking, if it was from cold or being nervous I am not sure. The microphone came on, and to me it sounding like a helicopter coming in. and everyone was quiet for the announcer, it was hard to see where the guy was, because his voice filled the silent pool area.“Heat sheets are available in the check in area.” The voice said twice, and then the chatter flooded the pool again.
I didn’t like the pool, because it was really muggy in there. It felt as if a million of people were breathing on you. The bleachers were very crowded, and some people had to stand outside and watch through the window! The water was cold, but that was good, because when the water is cold it makes you go faster.
When the warm-up bell rang, and the swimmers were free to get in the pool and warm up, there were so many people in the pool that we had to wait two hours until we could start warming up. When it was finally our turn we got in lane one to warm up with Club Wolverine, we did some starts and then they asked everyone to exit the pool. Hastily everyone exited the pool, and went back to their seats, facing the flag for the National Anthem. As I looked at the flag I almost felt as if I could win! The smallest bit of hope crept through me, and that hope remained, feeling like a warm ray of sunshine was cast over me I applauded for the gentleman who sang and took a seat.
Now the tension was really building, welling up inside of me like a balloon, getting bigger and bigger, almost bursting. The announcer introduced all the teams. “Welcome everyone to the 2010 winter, twelve and under Junior Olympics, hosted by: The Spartan Swim Club. Please welcome, Brighton eels, Saline stingrays…” my thoughts trailed off as I thought off how many people were there just to kick my butt in a race. I knew better then to think that so I told myself to think positive, that wasn’t really working. “Lavonia Hammerheads, Howell Sea dragons, Pinckney Pirates and Chelsea Bulldogs.” He finished his voice deep into the mike. Then he called event one and the buzzer rang, the swimmers raced into the water. Now I was even more nervous! These swimmers were the best from all around the state. That sense of hope, the warm ray of sunshine, was slowly draining again. Coach Ann patted my back and whispered “Alex is up”, she started to walk away, but came back and said “You’ll do just fine” she felt my arms and said “Your muscles are cold go get a sweatshirt or something.” And a seed of hope sprouted because I knew that more people than my mom and dad had faith in me.
Reluctantly walking up to the blocks, I fidgeted with my strap nervously. I wanted to leave here, leave behind my fears and leave behind my troubles, but that would never happen, I was going to win this race. The stuffy, hot air filled my lungs are my mind raced. The crowd was like a terrifying lion, it rumbled and roared in rage and excitement. Suddenly the announcer spoke into the microphone, his voice calming the lion, as if it was falling asleep, those words that he said into the microphone I held onto like those were the last words I would ever here. “Swimmers step up!” the lion remained sleeping and, then he said, “Take your mark” but I barely heard him because all I could hear was my heart beat in pounding in my ears. I gripped the edge of the blocks, rough and prickly on my fingers. Beeeeeeeeeep! Rang the buzzer, and that awoke the lion it went wild and I dove into the cold, silent, blue of the water. The only sound was the muffled sound of bubbles being blown from my opponents, just barely heard over the sound of my own bubbles. Just when I thought I would die from lack of breath I broke the surface, three-quarters across the pool. As soon as I broke the surface I heard the lion again, the many voices of the lion screaming names out, filling my ears, and I was pleased that I heard my name a couple times, but this was no time for hesitation.
I started to swim as fast as I could until I could see the wall, which was hard because it was blue like the water. I flipped and pushed off the wall hearing, my name being cheered. I went as fast as I could and took only two hasty breathes on the second and final lap. When I neared the wall a big black timing pad was waiting for me to touch and stop the clock. I excitedly poked my head out of the water, curiously wondering if I had finished first, only to find a wave of shock and disappointment fell over me as I saw that four other girls had finished before me. I thought I had swum the best I could. I felt empty almost as if I was going to cry. I felt as if I failed the easiest test or somehow failed to live. This race meant the world to me, and I felt so angry at myself for losing, but Coach Ann and Alex came over to help me out of the water and they told me I did a great job. I glanced over to the packed bleachers and my mom shot me a you-did-well-so-don’t-deny-it look. So over all I guess I was happy with how I swam.
Later that day one of the officials came over and asked my coach if I was her swimmer, a nod of her head sent the official jabbering on about me doing one of best and longest streamlines that he ever saw in a race. He even said that some people thought that I wouldn’t be able to make it through the race because I was under so long. I was so excited that an official told me that! An official’s job was to watch the races and see if someone did anything wrong, if that happened then they would disqualify that person from the race. That cold march morning turned out to be one of the most exciting times of my life and maybe a huge moment in my swimming in my swimming career.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

swimfan said...
Apr. 6, 2011 at 7:03 am
VERY GOOD!!!!
 
goofynd said...
Apr. 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm
Loved it, made me feel like i was swimming beside you. CAnt wait for the next one.
 
Katie B said...
Mar. 29, 2011 at 8:56 am
Great story.... Loved it!
 
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