400 Individual Medley
As soon as my feet left the block they snapped together. I took a large breath of air right before I hit the cool water. I entered the pool with a small splash. My body didn’t react to the water at all; I couldn’t feel it. It was like a temporary invincibility. However, it didn’t last long.
I remembered each and every start that my coach had made me do--each and every sprint. That water hadn’t been as cold; it wasn’t at a meet.
I kicked as fast as I could as my coach had taught me. Jim had taught me almost all I know. As I started my breakout my arms rose out of the water as my face stayed in it.
The first time I swam the butterfly, I loved it. I hate it now. I had gotten fourth in the 50 fly at my first meet. But everything was so easy back then--not so much now.
My arms started to hurt right after the first 25. My turn: thrust my elbow; shoot my arm back past my head; push off. My second streamline, seven dolphin kicks. My breath is running out.
I remembered the breathing exercise that I did on Tuesday morning practice; my chest hurt. Then and now. My chest ached for air. “Self control,” I told myself. I was close to the wall, the end of my fly. I had been tired a 50 ago.
I turned into my backstroke. Three more hundreds. Sigh. My body ached. I was in pain. Kick. Kick. Kick. This was the longest swim I had ever done outside of practice. And the hardest. Water rushed up my nose through my streamline, but I was so tired I didn’t care. My break out was painful, not in my shoulders but in my legs. They already hurt, but this was worse.
I remembered the kick set that we had done the night before. That had hurt, but not this bad. My team did kick sets often, this still hurt though. I hated the kick sets that we did at practice but I knew that I had to do them.