Pounding hard, I feel my heartbeat in my stomach, my chest, my throat, my soul. The beat of a drum, steady like the rhythm of a slow song. I am ready, just like in every thought, in every dream, ready to feel the water surround me again. All I do is think about what it would be like to feel the rushing water over my clasped hands, sliding down my arrow straight arms, over my head, past my body. My legs firm together as I kick my imaginary mermaids tail. My strong and constant kick, streamline to the surface. Then I break through the water, bending my elbow to stretch out and cup the water, pulling for my first stroke. Instantly, my left arm imitates what was just done. I pull hard, as my face lay pushing through the water. The light waves brushing over my scalp, and then I turn to face the right and I take my first strong gasp of air. A thought rushes through my mind: I am doing the good. I turn back to the cool water, and keep my arms pulling steadily. With every stroke, comes a constant kick of both my feet. Left, right; left, right; left, right; never slowing down. I need to reach the end, and as the few seconds pass, I do. Only to look up briefly, then immediately do a tight somersault, and then I quickly brace my feet back on the wall which signposts the deep end to all the inexperienced swimmers. A simple and quick push-off, and I am back in the game. Stroke after stroke, every four pulls comes a swift breath of air. Each breath is then let out. I hum to any simple tune, calming my nerves as I come to meet my fifty metres. The bubbles come out quickly, but I just feel that I am moving slowly. Like a scene on Baywatch, yet the difference being I am in water, not running atop the sand.
Again, I see the poolside wall, I complete a new swift somersault, and push off speedily. Amidst my second flip turn, I peak a glance at where I stand. I am ahead of everyone. But that may not last for long, for I have fifty metres left to go. I will keep at it, steady brushing through the water. I do feel my muscles tensing, nevertheless I know that is part of the game and I will pull through. No pain, no gain. Suddenly, I make it to the opposite side of the pool again, and follow through with another flip turn. I though, am not complete. I have one last lap. As I gasp for air, I hear my coaches voice. Pull, pull, pull, pull; she is cheering me on. I will win this race. I will feel accomplished after all this time on hiatus. My three year long break will have been for the better.
Finally, I soar to the end. One last tight stroke of the water. My right hand, fingers closed, pulling strong. Just as it did at the beginning of the race. My left hand middle finger presses against the wall and following that comes the rest of my hand. I have completed the race. I immediately look up, and I see a man holding a stopwatch. He smiles at me, as I remove my light blue goggles. I pull my head under the water and remove my silicone swim cap and feel my hair almost cry with happiness of the freedom. I have completed. My first completion after far too long. It feels good.
And then I hear the gunshot, it is race time. I push off the diving block number 4 and dive into the imaginary circle. Every inch of my body is stiff until under the water, where I begin to kick, with my legs tightly together. Beating like a dolphin. Just as I have imagined, I will win this race. I will do my hardest, and complete my competition.
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