Swimmers Experience

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From the age of 5 years old I’ve constantly been in the water. When I entered high school, I was super excited because in high school they have a swim team. Freshman year I was stuck on the JV team, but competed in some varsity events. But this was not the year that was meant for me. Even the best get caught.
The season was coming to a close and conference was coming up fast. This was the meet that everyone was preparing for and we were all ready. The morning of the meet was normal like always. We all went to school and ate lunch together. Well, we sat around a table of food, too nervous to eat. It was the day after my birthday, which I spent alone not eating anything except carrots and fruit. We made small talk about guys and the coach; who we didn't really like. Everyone was avoiding the topic of the meet because if we didn’t talk about it, then we had nothing to be nervous about. Everyone in school knew that it was the day of our conference meets so we were constantly being reminded of our impending doom.

After school we all walked down to the gym. The conference meet was being held at home, so our team had the advantage of warming up before all the other teams arrived. We warmed up and finally got out of the pool. The other teams slowly arrived, so everyone went into the locker rooms to do homework and listen to music. Our team has a tradition where we always give pep talks to each other and sing to the national anthem. We walked out of the locker room together, hand-in-hand. The next 20 minutes of my life are a blur and series of people talking and wishing all of us luck and reminding us that no matter how we do, we did our best. But to me my best was never good enough.

I was competing in the first event, first swimmer, which meant that I was going to swim a 50 backstroke with my relay team. I knew I was going to do fine in this event because backstroke has always been my strongest event. I can swim short distances very fast. The event was over quick and my team took 2nd place. The next event I was extremely worried about. It was 50 freestyle. Just down and back in the pool. I wasn’t the best at freestyle. I always manage to forget to kick and end up just using my arms.

I was looking down the lane. The distance seems so long but if you get a good start off the block you can get half way across the pool without even having to stroke. The flip turn is where you regain your speed. This finish is always the most important. The coach always says that you see if you’re in the lead if you look sideways. Well I’m just going to tell you right now; when you’re racing you don't care how far ahead you are. You’re just focused on yourself.

I mounted the starting block, breathing very deeply. I didn't need to breathe when I was swimming. The race was only going to last about 30 seconds. I took my place, leaned back and flew. It was probably the best start I’ve ever gotten. At least 10 feet off the block. Before I knew it I was speeding through the water. Kicking as fast and as hard as I possibly could. I reached the wall in record time, performed my flip turn and launched back off the wall. I swam like my life depended on it. I reached the end knowing that this was my best time ever, and I was right. I finished a whole second faster than my personal best. Not only did I beat my personal record, but I won the race! I scrambled into the pool deck. Only to be tackled by my friends on the swim team.

And that’s when I saw him. He who crushed my dream. He who took it all away from me. He who said in a harsh tone “YOU TOOK A FALSE START. YOU’RE DISQUALIFIED!” My world came crumbling down. All of my hard work was for nothing that season. All I trained and practiced and hoped for was thrown away on one Nano-second mistake. There was nothing I could do or say because arguing with him would only get me disqualified from my other events and I couldn't bring my whole team down with me.

The thing about being your best is that even when you try your hardest, somethings just aren’t meant to be.





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