Nerve-Wracking? Not One Bit This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It was a brisk day in April. The sun was shining despite the cool breeze which accompanied it. Multitudes of people surrounded the stadium and exciting action was plentiful! A gunshot echoes in the cool spring air. Millions of eyes are focused on the center field. Nerve-wracking? Not one bit.

The sun glares on the runway as I prepare to vault. With trembling hands, I grasp the pole. All confidence has escaped me and focusing on my task is becoming more and more difficult. Every hour of practice seems far away and futile. The faces of surrounding people blur and my stomach seems to have a mind of its own. Finally it is my turn. This is my last chance to clear this bar and receive a medal. I clear my mind of all people and the importance of this state meet! How did that bar become so high?

I begin to race down the runway gripping my pole in sweaty palms. The pole is planted and I leave the ground. Up, up, up I soar. Please get over! I drop the pole and sail in the breeze. An abrupt thud signals that I have reached my destination: those soft comfortable mats. Too afraid of disappointment, I refuse to look and see if the bar is still up! Curiosity grasps ahold of me and sure enough that yellow rubber bar I had previously landed on was right where it belonged!

It was not the medal that excited me or even second place in a state meet. I can honestly say that it was the pure enjoyment of knowing that I, Sarah O'Connor, was one of the first women legally allowed to pole vault in a meet and I had done my best with that privilege. 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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