Swimming, My Paradox

January 11, 2009
By Emily Schwartz, Solon, OH

Do you know what it feels like to…
Use up your last bit of energy and then
be told you have to try harder?
Want to throw up the white flag
but know you are not allowed?
To have your arms feel as heavy as lead?
To have your legs feel like a dying propeller?
Feel the strain of every muscle
as your coach yells at you to force them to go faster?

Do you know what it feel like to…
Effortlessly fly across the water
without feeling a lack of energy?
Make others realize
they are beat?
To have your arms feel as light as a feather?
To have your legs feel like a fine-tuned motor?
Feel as powerful as a shark going for a kill
as your teammates and the crowd cheer you to victory?

I know what it feels like.

I want to quit it,
but it’s an addiction I can’t stop.

I hate it,
yet I love it.

My paradox in life.

The author's comments:
I have been swimming competitively for eleven years now and am many times asked why I do it.I tell people becuase I love the feeling of racing, but sometimes especially during hard practices even I begin to dought my reasoning. I came up with this poem during one of those hard practices ine day as I remembered why I swim.

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