So, today was swim finals which is pretty exciting to begin with. It was really hot today and I was a bit upset because my medley relay got cut so I was swimming three events instead of four in my last swim of the season. Don’t worry, I got my fourth swim though. You bet I did.
My usual four events are the 200 Medley Relay, the 200 Individual Medley, 100 Butterfly, and the 400 Free Relay. Today, rather than doing my 200 Medley Relay, I got a second go at my 100 Fly and it was incredible.
I’m not going to bore you with the details of how swim meet scoring works for those of you who don’t know but, this girl and I tied in the 100 Fly; down to the hundredth of a second. 1:29:77. Apparently we were both tied to be alternates for tomorrow’s second day of finals so, we had a swim-off.
It was one of the most amazing and hardest things I have ever done. I had told a couple people when they asked why I looked so down; I was quite nervous after-all. It slowly spread to my whole team and eventually my coach told everyone that they are all going to go cheer for me. There were a few more heats for people swimming breaststroke so I walked around a bit. My nerves were building and building. I looked to the far end of the pool and my whole team was sitting there, getting ready to cheer for me. I still had time so I walked over and people were saying things like, “Good luck,” “You’ll do great,” “You got this,” and telling me how great it was going to be and how I’ll be amazing. I went back and waiting for a few more heats. When it was time to step up to the blocks and I looked over and saw my whole team, I couldn’t stop smiling and I wanted to cry as they all erupted cheering. I couldn’t even hear the starter over them. They quieted down and I calmed down, making sure I’d be able to breathe for my race. We stepped up on the blocks and the buzzer went off.
I don’t remember how I felt, besides amazing. I could see the other girl, just ahead of me in the other lane. I sped up as much as I could without tiring myself out too much. We got to the wall, my whole team shouting in my face to cheer me on, and I got a little closer on our turn. I saw all of her team cheering for her on the other wall and just kept going. By the second turn, we were neck and neck; pushing off at the same exact moment. I was so nervous. I knew I couldn’t stop then; I was so close. We got to the last turn where I could see my whole team as I went to make my turn.
On that turn, things changed. I pushed off harder and farther than her. I thought she was ahead of me because I saw splashing I thought was her feet then realized it was her arms. I was ahead! I kept going, pushing; I could not be tired, not now. I came up to the wall and hit the touch pad. I had won. I had actually done it. I turned around and saw my whole team cheering and jumping and hugging and I got the biggest grin on my face and was trying not to cry again. I had done it.
We climbed out and walked out from under the timers’ tents and was met by my team. They were giving me hugs one after another; each and everyone of them. They were telling me how proud they were and how amazing I had done and the race had been. I couldn't stop smiling. I was trying so hard not to cry from pure joy. I just kept hugging people then was suddenly the center of a team group hug. Some people from other teams even ran up and congratulated me.
As I walked everyone was telling me how well I had done. It was one of the best moments of my life. Even a member of our team who rarely talks to anyone patted my shoulder and told me “Good job.” Those two words sincerely coming from him are amazing.
My previous record form the week before had been 1:35:??. In my first swim that day I dropped six seconds to 1:29:77; our tying times. At the end of that race, I had dropped four more, finishing in 1:25:??. In a week, I have dropped ten seconds.
The race was simply to see who would be an alternate the following day since neither one of us placed in the top sixteen but I am still so honored. I think that may have been my second to last swim of the season, since I had a 400 Freestyle Relay following that, but I think it will be a swim that’s remembered for quite a while.
Thank you to my team and my coaches, but especially my team this time. Without you guys, I would never had had the strength to pull off what I did. Sometimes we forget, but that little bit of cheering goes a long way.
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