Diving in the Deep.

November 5, 2011
By Anonymous

Thump. Thump. Thump. All I could feel was my heart bursting to break through my chest. Fan’s screams and anxiety filling up my head. Shaking, as ice flooded through me. How I was still standing was a miracle.

It was at the lake, though they had to put a wall by the deck, last year a boy knocked himself out on the post and sank to the bottom. It was autumn-winter time so the water was bound to be freezing yet I knew I wouldn't care once my skin touched the water.

“On your marks...,” Why am I doing this? “Get set...,” This is completely mental. Back out now! “GO!” Oh, God.

Before I knew what was happening, my legs acted of their own accord and sprang off the board. The water hit me like a cold blast, daggers piercing my skin, my legs stopped shaking and starting kicking. Nothing existed anymore, not the fans chanting, not my instructor screaming to kick harder, not even the beat of my heart, just the water and me. It felt like time had slowed to a stop, everything was a blur.
My hands dived forward and my legs kicking with such force that my legs stung yet my body willed itself forward, not daring to give up. Kick, stroke and breathe. Kick, stroke and breathe. Repeat. Kick, stroke and breathe. Repeat. The water began to choke me and my asthma was starting to flare up. On the turn, I flipped just right, taking off again on my back. There was water spewing from my mouth. Yet no matter how tired, it made no difference to me, I give up, not when I was so close. My whole body ached and my muscles, tired of stroking, slammed into the wall. My face lifted up water, gasping for air and the winter breeze wrapping itself around me. I looked around, searching for the winner.

No one was at the wall! But that was impossible! No! It wasn’t true! I whipped my head round so fast that it slashed me across my face, disorienting me. The board read my name and in flashing lights, just below it, stood out a number. Straight ahead, were four other swimmers, speeding towards the crowd behind me who was cheering, lifting up banners with my name on them. It was true! I knocked 23 seconds off my time. The aches, the endless training sessions, the gasps for air and muscles begging for sleep had all paid off.

A great weight seemed to lift off my shoulders and head held high with the pride, I clambered out the waters and looked back on my blue home. The water understood me and above all made me brave. The water taught me about myself. Sounds like I’m mad as a hatter, right? I guess a better way of putting it is that the water forces you to face yourself in your own mind. It was victory or peace I was looking for. It was somewhere I belong. The water made me find someone I lost along the way, someone I used to know and the memories they used to have. I found myself.

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