The Jump of the Summer

Being on the podium made me feel like a king, being high up as if I were on a mountain at the very top standing on the tip of the ice cap. Then I realized everything was bigger than me and I was only eight years old, but just the littlest things made me feel like a giant. As the person came to me holding my first medal from the Jr. Olympics in the long jump, nothing could take away my joy of getting a medal. I was in Detroit, having fun, doing what I love to do, and getting a glorious medal for it. My eyes lit like light bulbs, and my heart felt like popping out of my chest; I never thought that I could be calm and composed looking at that medal come towards me as I was standing there. And to think that I was going to give up, without trying and sticking it out.
But while I was standing in my spot receiving my medal, I couldn’t help but to think of the moment when I was practicing before I made it to the to the Jr. Olympics. My coach said to me “Jacob you have to try harder or you aren’t going anywhere with the jumps you are giving me now.”
I said to her, feeling defeated and drained, “I’m trying.”
Those two words were all I could say, almost feeling speechless, flabbergasted, or thunderstruck. I couldn’t believe she told me that, I was only eight years old and innocent, and I wanted to give up and go home right then. But then I started to doubt myself, why are you bad, you need to jump longer, why can’t you be good? My heart somewhat trembled with sorrow, but it also lit a fire within me to strive towards where I wanted to go. After that conversation I practiced harder, and harder till I couldn’t jump anymore, getting improvement letting others know that I could make it to the Jr. Olympics and I will. From just that simple conversation I worked until it became a disease and it infested the coursing blood in my veins, and I couldn’t do it anymore. And through that getting my first medal in the Jr. Olympics was my number one task. Getting that medal was like having another Christmas and getting exactly what you asked for and nothing else. I had to go through the state of Texas in order to get to the national level, which only took top three, I was still fueled from that conversation, and with that gas still in me I got first, but my tank was running empty; and my insecurity of defeat was coming back. Then felling that getting to nationals would be one of the hardest things for me to do.
There were two stages you had to go through to get to the finals and every stage got harder. The first stage was to weed out the people who really weren’t good enough to go to the finals, and somewhere in the back of my mind I thought I was one of those people; they took out the top five jumpers to go to the second stage in the two groups they assembled, now you couldn’t relax and just jump, but you needed to strive. You needed to bring in the technique that you learned, it became harder and it was coming down to inches for the people who would make it to the finals, and I was one of them. I made it by the skin of my teeth and was seventh going into the finals, I wasn’t happy though; I wanted to give up and just accept getting eighth place. But then I thought back to the conversation I had with my coach and the fire that got me to the Jr. Olympics blazed even ten times brighter almost luminescent. Then focusing back to the long jump that would completely change my summer.
Jacob you can do this, just focus, run faster, jump longer, don’t let your mind control you, I can’t believe you are giving up, just do it! Those were the messages that ran through my head and the exact words that pushed me through my three jumps. But on that last jump I no longer heard anything, my mind went numb, it was silent and all I saw was the pit; the pit that looked like it went forever with as much sand as a beach. After that I did all I could do and little did I know that my dream of getting my first medal in Jr. Olympics would come true. I never thought that I could get this far, all I truly wanted was to get that medal, I wanted to triumph and conquer the fact that I could get the medal and I did. Then when finally on the podium, it all hit me that I did it, I ultimately felt that it was done and I didn’t give up.
So there I was back on the podium and the glorious medal was coming towards me, it sparkled, shined, and did much more. She came closer and closer and as the speaker said, “And fifth place goes to Jacob Farris,” I no longer felt defeated and drained. The medal was the perfect touch for me, hanging around my neck letting everyone see and letting them know that I did not give up. I never took it off until I got home when my Dad wanted to have a conversation with me, after I came back from the Jr. Olympics in Detroit. Whenever I got upstairs my Dad told me to sit down and to talk to me about the trip and how I did.
My Dad told me in a gentle voice,” Son I’m really proud of you, you going out there really made me feel like you had your mindset on what you wanted and went for it, I just cant say how much I’m proud of you.” Kind of sitting there in almost a frozen state of amazement because when my Dad says, “I’m proud of you,” it is never like that. He stopped and made sure he told me, at that time I really didn’t grasp what that conversation meant to me, so I just said, “Thank you,” in somewhat of a careful voice. And to me that conversation that I had with my dad is a memory that almost motivates me, other than the physical object that I keep on the wall in my room. I can’t believe the thought of me saying that, “I can’t do this,” came from my mouth, but that is before I went to the Jr. Olympics now I don’t give up and I strive towards my goal. I found out that you can’t go anywhere if you don’t try, but if you do then a lot more doors can, and will be opened. And now since then I have been able to go to the Jr. Olympics every year, and not give up, but to try my hardest.





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Sarbear This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm
I think this short story is very good and inspiring. I really liked it. Make sure you check out some of my poems too.
 
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