Awake all night with nervousness, tension and excitement building inside of him, he now stands before the starting blocks anxious about the final results of the race to come. He yearns to win. He knows all concerns should be focused on himself and his race yet he feels the presence of the others. Their experience and his lack of it creeps into the corners of his mind and worries him. The pool deck is hot and humid as usual, but he is shivering. Jittery and uptight, he unconsciously, yet out of habit, stretches out and constantly rubs down his muscles in order to stay warm and loose while enduring the delay. Adrenaline pumps through his body, making him more jumpy. Uneasy in their seats, the spectators feel the suspense building among the racers. They see the distress etched deeply into his face, though his head is down. He feels all eyes on him. He is impatient, eager to know the outcome, and for the race to end. The intensity is disquieting. l
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.