The Burden Upon My Shoulders

June 6, 2018
By AustinGu BRONZE, Weston, Massachusetts
AustinGu BRONZE, Weston, Massachusetts
4 articles 3 photos 0 comments

Pain radiates down my spine and through the nerves in my legs as I walk the path towards the high school. For most students, it was the end of a gruesome day at school and they were heading towards the school bus, anxiously waiting for the comfort of their own homes. For me, it was the end of a gruesome day at school and I was heading towards the swimming pool, my sanction, preparing for training.

Being a student athlete is challenging. We try to keep our grades up and help our sport teams to championships. After each swim meet or each final, the burden upon my shoulders increase. I feel the pain between my tendons and joints aggravate. I feel the electric current that runs through each nerve in my neck. I carry the pain inside me, crushing me.

As I enter the locker room, I drop my school bag among the other bags on the dirty bench. A weight from my shoulders is released and they feel relief for only a second. I strip down my clothes, only to uncover a tight layer of mesh that continues to encase the pain inside me. I pick up my swim bag and toss it behind my back, replacing the relieved tension. I walk along the pool deck and prepare to jump in the cold, freezing water. I carry a memory of the revolting main sets, paired with thoughts of obliviousness and a sense of unconsciousness.

I attend school only to be beat down with textbooks and homework assignments. I show up to practice only to feel the pain intensify. I carry resilience: the ability to endure the hardship and tortures of learning and skill. I carry joy, for the hope of learning more and for the hope of a better future. I carry a vision. That vision includes a world class education, the opportunities in the classroom, and the opportunities to swim with the elite.

I carry a sense of accomplishment for what I have done in the pool and in the classroom. I also carry a sense of failure. I weigh both the great values and the perception of unsatisfactory. People don’t usually understand me when I portray my pain. They tell me to suck it up and bury the stress. There aren’t enough words to describe the unimaginable pain I make myself go through. I leave the burden upon my shoulders.



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