My Way

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“Take your mark! Go!” the official’s instructions blare over the microphone. I dive into the pool to race the 100-meter freestyle with other seven competitors. I am at Lehman College for the Junior Olympic Swimming competition longing to make Eastern States Time Zones cuts. Then, I can go to Buffalo, New York, to compete with swimmers from all over the United States.
I bravely stand on the block. I am tense and silent. Suddenly, I dive off the block and into the aqua-transparent water. As soon as I reach the surface of the water, I kick as hard as I can. I don’t breathe for the first whole lap. I take strokes faster and harder than ever before. Starting the second lap, I’m tired and tired and start to slow down.
Vaguely, I hear my dad’s voice from afar. He is cheering me up and calling my baby name “LuLu.” I gather my last bit of strength and slowly surpass other swimmers. I did dryland boot camp training for three months with the sole goal to win this title. I know that I can’t just renounce this opportunity. I have to be an “animal” and swim faster. There are only fifteen meters to the wall. I keep my head underwater and start to glide toward the wall as fast as I can. After I get out of the pool, I am huffing and puffing. I feel that I just finished the most strenuous race that I have ever competed in before.
I don’t know if I will make Eastern Zones Team or not. After a few deep breaths and a few sips of purple frost Gatorade, I walk exhausted and slowly to the timer and ask, “What is my time?” Did I make the Eastern Zones team?” The timer gives me a whimsical smile. I think that I didn’t make it. My heart is pumping harder and harder. It is the longest ten seconds of my life.
The timer says, “Lilly, YOU MADE IT! CONGRATULATIONS!” I scream my heart out. I made the Eastern Zone I am so jovial that I can fly.
Two minutes later, my name is announced on the loudspeaker. Everyone applauds for me. I am so proud of myself. All my hard work is for this moment. Everyone that passes me gives me compliments for making the Eastern Zone Team. I win a gold medal. One of the officials calls my name to stand on the platform. My coach puts the gold medal on my neck and gives me a massive hug. I cheerfully stand on the center of the platform with two swimmers who won silver and bronze medals. Parents are giving smiles and flowers. I wave and wave. Then, I start to cry. But, it is only happy tears. I tightly hold the medal in my hands.
I feel an overwhelming sense of happiness and pride. I say that to myself, “I did it my way!”





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