The week before sectionals we had two meets. Every meet I swam the 100 backstroke. Every time I finished I looked at the scoreboard and saw the same thing. 1:17 I didn’t know what was happening because that was not even a best time for me. No matter how hard I kicked nothing changed.
November 2nd, two days before sectionals. My coach said that even if we didn’t qualify for sectionals we still go because we only have 10 girls on the team. If someone didn’t qualify in an event they are put in a relay. That same day my coach talked to me during practice. He said, “I called the sectionals people, I asked them if I could put you in the backstroke.” The only reason he called is because no one on the team qualified for backstroke. My coach said, “You better start to work on your dolphin kicks because you are swimming the backstroke at sectionals!” I was so speechless. I wasn’t sure if I was happy or nervous. I said “Rich this is so great but now I am so nervous I have not been able to break a 1:17 these past few meets” he said, “It is okay I got you into sectionals because you deserve to be in sectionals, and I know you can do it you just had a few bad meets.”
November 3rd,the day before sectionals. I was so nervous even more nervous than the day before. All I could think about was I don’t even know how I will feel tomorrow. I walk into the pool area and on the board it says in caps “ LAST DAY OF TAPER!!!!!!” All I did at practice was work on my dolphins. It was so boring but that was my worst part about backstroke.
November 4th, the day of sectionals. I was terrified all day. 1:30 came and it was time to leave. I grabbed my swim bag met up with my team and we went on the bus. Everyone was nervous, but they were also really excited. I was just really nervous. We finally got to sectionals. We changed into our suits and jumped in the pool to warm up. We warmed up for about two hours then we did some starts. For the relay I was in I was not nervous at all. I was pretty excited to swim that. Once I finished swimming in the relay I felt like I was going to throw up because the backstroke came right after the relay. I was super nervous. My coach came over to calm me down. He said “Meg you will do fine just relax.” I heard the whistle so I jumped in the water. The official said “Place your feet” I put my feet on the pad “Take your mark” I pulled myself up and then I heard the buzzer. I pushed so hard off the wall and I dolphin kicked really hard. I did my first flip turn and all I thought in my head was “only 3 more laps.” My second flip turn I was starting to get tired, but I knew I could not slow down. My third flip turn I was completely dead, but I only had 1 lap left to go. I kicked so hard. I saw the flags and so I took 5 strokes and hit the pad to stop my time. All I wanted to touch was the pad so that meant I was done. I did not even look at the scoreboard I was so nervous. I looked over at my coach I have never seen him so happy. I looked at the scoreboard. 1:14 that was a best time! I dropped two seconds. My face was so red and I was so hot I could feel my face burning. I walked over to my coach he was so proud of me. He said, “I knew you could do it. I’ve never been prouder of you.” Then, of course he said “see what dolphin kicks do to you.” That day I learned something that I will never forget. I learned that hard work does not come easy and you have to work really hard but in the end the outcome is so worth it. I will never forget how I felt when I looked up at the scoreboard and saw my time.