The Smell Of Chlorine This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Swimming is my favorite sport and always has been. I remember starting lessons at age four. The first day was scary and the fact that I was afraid of water didn't help. I knew that as soon as I jumped in I would sink like a rock and drown. Mom had to drag me to the car and then to the pool. The smell of chlorine surrounded me as if luring me to the deep, dark, frightening pool. When I left the dressing room I tried to muster up all my courage so I wouldn't look scared in front of everyone. First I peeked my head out which was slowly followed by the rest of my body.

I don't remember the exact reaction when I realized everyone could swim, but I knew I needed a bubble. The instructor came over and introduced himself. I was scared to go all the way down into the water but I was also scared to stay up. I knew that everyone would laugh when they saw I couldn't swim but no one seemed to notice when he strapped the bubble on. As the bubble came off, the lessons got harder, but I knew I could do it. I remember one teacher that used to pull my ponytail so I would look down.

After six years of lessons I quit because it was boring. I knew all of the strokes. But this year I joined the Dedham Clippers, a swim team, because I love swimming and my mom wanted me to get back in it.

Swim team is exciting because you compete. Although the lap after lap practice does get boring, I know I am getting in shape so I can do well at the meets. As I dive in, I think of nothing else but doing the stroke right. I know that if I don't touch with two hands, leave without my feet touching the wall, or kick illegally I will get disqualified (which will hurt my team's score). If I think of anything else, I will be distracted, which slows me down. Now, I practice three times a week (plus meets) and since I am in shape, it is easier.

Being on a swim team is hard and there are a lot of disadvantages and sacrifices I have to make. To stay in shape I eat less and better. I also had to give up hot dinners with my family on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. The worst sacrifices are Saturdays at the mall and sleep-overs because of meets (some as early as 8: 00 a.m.). I barely have enough time to finish my homework before 10. Don't get me wrong, there are advantages too. I am in good shape and I can say I accomplished the endurance that many others haven't.

To this day I can thank my mom for getting me started and the smell of chlorine which lured me to the deep, dark, frightening pool. n


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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