My sophomore year was the year I tried to get myself more active, so I joined the swim team. I was one of the fastest newbies on the team that year. We’re almost done with our season, and it’s time for KVAC’s. I was very nervous at KVACs because we weren’t competing against just one team. There were a lot of teams there. I had a 50 yard freestyle individual, and as I was waiting on the block for that bright flash of light and the always too loud whistle, I can remember thinking that I was going to win. Looking at the times of the girls I was going against, I knew it was going to be a close call, but when that light flashed and that whistle blew, I was off. I dove in the freezing cold water and kicked until I came to the surface, sucking in a quick breathe of air I put my face back in the water and continued to swim. Flip turns are always my least favorite part because I can never time myself just right to be able to make it with enough breathe, but I counted my strokes, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and then I flipped, pushed off the wall with as much strength as I had and glided through the water. I came up for another breathe of air and even though my arms ached and my heart was pounding for me to take a breathe, I knew if I took a breathe I’d falter and fall behind so I kept right on swimming. Kicking my feet as hard as I could and slamming my hands into the board so I could make the timer go off, I saw that I had come in first. 27.29 seconds. A new record for myself! My coach was waiting for me when I got out of the pool and told me I had made it to states. I wasn’t quite sure what it meant, all I knew was I had come in first, made states, and now had another whole week of practice for states. I was the only one in my group of friends that made it to states, so during that week of practice I was friendless and I thought Rob was going to push the selected individuals chosen for states harder than he’d pushed us all year.
That first day of extra practice was a lot easier...
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