Swimming In The Fast Lane This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Well, here we are at the big pool. The lanes are now eight instead of the usual four. Wow, do I feel great. My muscles are loose and relaxed, but my mind is surging with excitement. All the work that has been done over the past few months, all the time put into that work, comes down to this. No pressure. Ha! Yeah, right! But that's okay. I feed off of that pressure. Looking around I see that everyone is here. All the big names that up until now were just names. Now they take on a reality. This race will require the best swimming that I've got, and I am confident. It's about that time, I'd better get up there. I strap on my goggles. I can see out, but they can't see in. As I get ready, I visualize what I need to do. "It's just down and back. That's all," say to myself. I go through the race in my head. The dive, the insane rush down, the turn, push-off, the grueling lap back, and the extra stretch at the finish. "I can do this," I say, "This is nothing." Now the starter is calling the heat up on the block. "Fifty yard freestyle," I hear him say.

"Take your mark." BEEEEEP!!! Every thing contracts as I explode off the block. Hitting the water, I hear it rush by me. I feel the water on my body as I sprint down the lane. Hand speed, I remember. Keep kicking. Here comes the turn. Tuck but powerful! The push-off as I streamline to try and make my body fit through a pinhole. Then the break out of the turn. Arms flying, start to hurt, but a good hurt, the kind that any athlete thrives on. Not much more. I seem to remember someone saying, "Bring it up from your toes!" Yeah, that's the ticket. The wall nears and I take one more long, stretching stroke to hit the wall. Uhhhn. I am exhausted, and the sweet taste of air is very welcoming. I finished first. I knew I could, but wow, I finished first. All this in just twenty-two seconds. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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