Underwater 3.75/5 (4)

I step up onto the block
heart racing rapidly in my chest
I take a quick look around
studying my competition
‘don’t be intimidated’
Goggles on
swim cap pulled over
I slowly lean down into position
my head hovering above my knee
arms prepared to go flying
I glance up at the flags above me
remembering my first swim coach
‘fly out not down’
deep breath in, out, in, out
I’m ready
Then I hear the words
“Timers and judges ready?”
the judges signal with thumbs up
“Swimmers take your mark…”
Beep
The buzzer sounds loudly
sending me soaring through the air
instantly, the frigid water engulfs me
like an enormous, unexpected wave
in an instant, my world above is gone
The water is a crystal blue
and my hands glide through it
creating a line of tiny, frantic bubbles
hurrying to get out of my way
as I kick up towards the surface
My arms shoot out, propelling me forwards
as I push myself along the water
stroke, stroke, stroke, breath
then I repeat
as I quickly approach the wall
I suddenly close my eyes
and for a split second
I can feel my world turn upside-down
And my legs quickly push off the wall
as I swim hurriedly back to where I started
My lungs burn, and my arms throb
but I keep pushing on
the water encourages me
and the wall up ahead motivates me
and I go faster than before
I can see in the corner of my eye
a body parallel to me
I’m exhausted, but I know
if I don’t swim faster
she will win
I’m almost there
and I can feel the adrenaline
rushing through my body
with one last, powerful kick
I slap the wall and poke my head up
I see my coach smiling
my arms feel like noodles
as I struggle to pull myself out of the pool
I stand up
tired but satisfied
I feel a tap on my shoulder
and I whirl around to see a judge
holding a bright green ribbon
I accept it, joyfully
and think to myself…
It feels good to win
Lamar
7

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