My Swim Race Experience. Essay on Competition
For the first time in my entire life, my bed felt extremely uncomfortable. I was nervous and couldn’t let the anxious thoughts out of my head no matter how hard I tried. I felt suffocated and stuck. An annoying and cynical voice in my head repeatedly reminded me about the wide array of things that could go wrong tomorrow. What happens if your goggles break? What happens if you get a cramp in the middle of the race? What happens if your feet slip off the diving block? Trying my absolute best to clear these thoughts from my mind, I closed my eyes and listened closely to the beating of my heart.
The most important swim race of my life was a mere day away. I had done hundreds of these before, however this was by far the most important one in my life. This event was the Summer Junior Olympics. My family and I had traveled to Palm Springs for this. As I thought about how much money, time and energy had been invested into this I felt my head start to throb. The last thing that I wanted to do was mess this up for my teammates, my coach and everyone else who depended on me. Eventually, my eyelids began to feel heavy and the thoughts inside my head blurred away. I felt as if a weight was pushing me down into my bed. Attempting to not think at all and focus on the gentle sounds of the wind outside of the hotel room, I once again tried to go to sleep.
“Wake up!” my mom screeched.
I rubbed my eyes and glanced at the clock, it was a little bit past five in the morning. Warm-up wasn’t going to start until seven. The actual meet started at nine. I wondered what could have been the cause for them waking me up so early as the pool was barely 15 minutes away. Then I realized my parents like to be freakishly early practically everywhere we go. Grumbling to myself, I kicked off the thick hotel duvet and climbed out of the soft and marshmallowy bed.
“You better be ready in a few minutes,” my dad calmly announced.
Taking a deep breath, I began to brush my teeth and pack my swimming paraphernalia. On the outside, I looked calm and compose and maybe even a bit emotionless but on the inside, my mind was racing. I was once again reminded of the countless things that could go wrong. Trying my absolute best to push those types of thoughts out of my head, I tried to bring back the memories of how hard I had worked prior to this day in order to reassure myself. In a rush, my parents and I piled into the car and began to drive to the pool.
As we got there, I saw the gigantic swarm of people. Parents yelling to find their child’s lost goggles, swimmers rushing to the deck trying to find a decent lane. I attempted to block out all of these distractions and to focus only on myself. I thought deeply regarding all of the fears that I had and told myself what was possible at this certain moment. With a newfound determination in my eyes, I prepared myself to warm up. I stood over the pool staring into my reflection in the water. I can do this. I thought to myself with a newly found determination in my eyes. Cautiously, I dipped my toe into the water, trying to gauge the temperature. It was cold but my mind had already accepted that I would have to jump in if I wanted to do well tomorrow when the real race took place. With those thoughts encircling my head, I cleared my mind of all the worries I had and let my body take over. I hit the cold water and immediately felt in my zone. I let out a long breath and felt the bubbles graze my skin. Pausing for a brief moment and listening to the splashes of those swimming around me and muffled talking coming from the outside of the deck I soaked in my surroundings. Opening my eyes to the clear blue water I placed my legs on the smooth tile wall. Tightening all my muscles, I pushed off the wall and began to get used to the temperature.
Thinking about all the little details that all my parents, coaches and mentors had told me, I focused on every single muscle fibre in my body. Reminding myself that this would help me to do well tomorrow. Soon after, I finished practice and felt as prepared as it was possible to feel at that point in time.