Swimming

“Event number 33 heat 1 and lane 2.” The coach scrutinized the pages before him.
I nodded slowly and nervously fiddled with the strap of my competition bathing suit. In this swimming meet, I would be swimming 100 yards (4 laps) of freestyle. No only that, but I would be in the first event or the start of the whole meet. As the coach turned around to answer another swimmer’s question, I started off towards the diving area. My feet sluggishly moved themselves as if I was in a trance to the deep of the serene pool. The surface was so smooth that it looks like a glass mirror so different from the roaring tempests and waves of the warm ups or practices.
I have been swimming since the beginning of time, and yet I was not one of the better swimmers on the team. In fact, I had often made up trivial excuses for not showing up to the competitions and meets so I would never find out how far behind I was. But today my luck ran out and I could no longer bear to feel the nagging voice and pressure of my parents. They were worried about my time.
In swimming, time was everything. The lower the time you had, the more coaches and people would talk or respect you. The higher the time you had, the less cheer and encouragement you get before and after the big race. We would compare the times and judge each other by it. It never made me feel good.
I looked at the glowing red numbers of the clock. I was to start in two minutes. A very strange sensation went over me. It felt like drinking the golden rays of the sun or swallowing a cold fire. From the tip of my toes to the ovals of my goggles, warmth covered my numerous goosebumps. My muscles and throat relaxed gratefully and my white clenched fist relaxed. I wasn’t nervous or confident. I felt calm and serious. It didn’t matter whither I won or lost. Just thinking about that was too troublesome. I’ll try my best and see what happens.
“Event 33. 13 and 14 girls. 100 free. Heat 1. Step up.” The announcer said in a metallic tone.
I strapped on my goggles and the world dimmed down as I stepped on the rough diving board. The tranquil pool was beckoning for me to dive right in. The red and yellow flags above held their breaths as I saw the sitting parents lean forward. I was ready.
“On your mark...”
Everyone gripped on the edge prepared to dive in the chilling water.
“BEEP!”
The arctic water enveloped me as I submerged myself in the wet wonder. I could do it.





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