Tag Archives: Life

Just…

Just have a relaxing Monday…

I’ll be dreaming that I am, as my baby screams at me for not doing something the right way…

Trying to talk, I guess is frustrating her…

So have a Just Monday. I will try…

❤️

And I tried to paint yesterday…I only got in about ten minutes before Eli started yelling at me “all done…”

But this is where I got…

I only got to touch up some flowers and a sliver of the background.
By emily2jane
6-6-21

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 48

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 47

CHAPTER 48

I have no idea…all I can think to do is breath. My lunges…rib cage are on fire. I was gasping for air. My vision was distorted with dark spots. I shoved my head underwater. Better. As I surfaced, Timothy had his hand extended towards me. Now that I could see, I took it and shook. We exchanged our good jobs, and then Timothy climbed out. ‘Huh?’ Suddenly Matthew and Ken were grabbing onto my arms lifting me out of the pool. I helped a smidge, but then sat my butt down on the gutter. “How..’d…we..do?”

I still couldn’t breath normal…

“WE GOT SECOND!” Ken and Matthew shouted out together!

‘Oh.’ I was not looking forward to Coach’s disappointment. Hopefully he would be proud. Jerry, who was also exhausted, helped pull me up, and we turned to go to the cooldown pool; instead, there stood Coach, Jenny, and Brit.

Since the competition was over we were given permission to cooldown in the competition pool. Jerry and I turned to jump in, but Coach stopped us.

“You four did amazingly well. 3:10.33 is an amazing time. Especially you Ken,” Coach smacked, maybe a little too hard, Ken on the shoulder. “You just finished your one-hundred breaststroke, and placed third overall by the way. But still, this relay was impressive. Matthew and Ken, I will tell you your splits and then I want you two to start your cooldown. Then I will continue to George and Jerry. All of you must do at least a fifteen hundred. Even though the season is over, there is still practice until school is over. Understood?”

We were silent but nodded. ‘That’s a long cooldown…That’s sixty laps. I’m dead, but if Coach said it…’

“Good. Matthew 48.95. Ken 51.45. Well done you two,” Coach said with one of the happiest smiles I have ever seen.

“Dude! That’s awesome!” Jerry had let go of me and hugged Ken, “Dude?”

Once again Ken was dumbfounded. He was silent. ‘Priceless.’ “Ken,” I brought my hand up to slap him back to reality. He must have noticed.

“I’m good, I’m good. No need for that,” ducking away from my hand. “I’m just shocked. That’s my best by like four seconds. I was dying.”

Matthew was silent too. “You did amazing Matthew. You finally broke the fifty!” I drapped my arm over Matthew’s shoulders.

“I am proud of myself, but I am just so tired. Coach can I cooldown and then react after?” Matthew said while he stepped towards the pool.

“Yes. Good. Both of you go cooldown. Ken,” Ken was still dazed, “Go!” The tone in Coach’s voice quickly brought him back to reality and he followed Matthew to the pool.

They were both swimming when Coach turned to Jerry and I. Brit had left to probably keep an eye on the rest of the team; while Jenny walked up to listen.

“You both should be incredibly proud of your efforts. You did amazing. I am good with the second place, because it was so close that you scared lane four into winning. Listening to the other coaches, I heard many saying that lane four would win hands down. You made that team sweat. Lane four came in at 3:10.29; that’s only a four one-hundreths of a second difference. You both did above and beyond what I could imagine. Jerry 46.37. George 43.56. I had Jenny time Timothy and he finished at a 43.78. If you had been tied diving in, you would have beaten him. Good job,” Coach reached out and patted our shoulders. This response was huge from Coach.

‘43.56…That’s crazy. If this time counted, it was almost half a second faster than my best.’ I was probably grinning stupidly, but I was happy.

“George. I wish I had known you could do the straight arm swimming technique. In your future years, you will need to perfect it, and you will be unstoppable. Also, The Montana School scouts came down after your race, and told me they would contact me soon about their decisions,” Coach stepped back and his face showed true pride.

I was speechless. Jerry was silent too. I looked at him and he turned to me simitanously. Yep. We were both in the same boat, utter shock.

“Well enough chit chat. Go cooldown. It’s a bit late now. Do at least a six-hundred. If you feel sore still, than Jerry go to George’s house and finish the cooldown. Go,” Coach pushed us towards the pool then turned and walked to the officals tent.

I looked back to see Jenny still standing there watching us. Her face was beaming. Her smile… I smiled in return. She waved me to go cool down, and she went to follow coach. I jumped into the pool. I don’t know if this cooldown was going to work for me, I was still so pumped, that I don’t think my body will calm down any
time soon.

Clash and Grumble.

The night is near,

There should be no fear;

Alas, the storm begins.

Clash goes the light,

Grumble goes the thunder.

It is a marvelous sight.

However…

She is scared;

She cannot sleep.

A sliver of light,

Jolts through the curtain.

An angry rumble shakes the house.

Then silence…

It’s quiet as a mouse.

Slumber begins.

Mama’s wonderful delight!

Eli is afraid of to thunder. I will give snuggles and coos but nothing usually works.

Then sometimes as if my prayer is answered, it stops. ❤️ And She will fall asleep instantly.

However, when she wakes up in the morning, it will be at various times, because of the pressure changing. It will give her belly some gas and grumbles.

Daddy is the one she wants when she wakes up…which is sweet but the hubby just wants to sleep. But still, he takes the snuggles and sleeps with her cuddling.

Have a wonderful Friday. May it be filled with good weather and smiles. Unlike…

Digital Art
by emily2jane
06-05-2021

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 47

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 46

CHAPTER 47

Our two-hundred relay was as expcted. Second place. It was not a best time for us, but we were at least happy with the place results.

Last race of the day… The four-hundred freestyle relay. Jerry and I were behind our lane. Timothy’s team was behind lane four, and Jermey’s team behind lane three. The showdown was about to commence. Matthew and Ken were both still in the cooldown pool; they just finished their last individual swims. Jerry was doing active stretching beside me. I was stretching, but my nerves were in check, whereas Jerry’s were not. Coach was walking towards us.

“Okay. You two, plus the other two, are repersenting the team in this relay. I pulled the other relay; because Tom thinks he twisted his ankle. Are you ready and pumped?”

Jerry and I looked at each other simitaniously, laughing we nodded. We were ready.

“George,” Coach turned to me, “I know I said to swim your own race, but this time is different. You are the anchor. Jerry,” Coach turned to Jerry, “you will need to catch up and give George the chance. Ken is going to be exhausted; you will need to gain him some distance. Then you, George, chase him down. Also, look…” Coach stopped and pointed off to the stands on the right.

I looked and saw what Coach meant. There was Dad. He was watching us intently. Realizing he had been seen, he sent a thumbs up and fist pump into the air for Jerry and me.

“You got it?” Coach knowing he just succeeded in giving me a boost of energy.

“Yes. I’m good to go, now!” with that Coach turned to leave but he paused.

“Let’s have a 1st next to our lane,” then coach left.

“Event fourty-two. Varsity boys four-hundred freestyle relay. Heat one,” the announcer said over the speaker.

“We are up next. Where are Ken and Matthew?” Jerry started to pace frantically.

I was starting to worry too, not as much as Jerry though. Just because Matthew was the first leg of the relay. I stood up to start my active stretching, but also to scan the deck looking for our other half of the relay. “There!” Matthew and Ken were almost to us.

“Sorry. I wasn’t really paying attention. I’m still kind of dead,” Ken said as he sat down on the deck.

“I noticed Ken was still swimming, so I brought him along. Get up Ken, we are up in less than a minute,” Matthew, along with Jerry and I pulled Ken back up onto his feet.

“Pull yourself together,” I stood in front on Ken! “The competion is eyeing you like you are a free meal. Do not give them an inch. Stand up!”

Ken stood upright and changed his tired expression to determined.

The annoucer called, “Heat two.”

‘That’s us!’ I pushed Matthew to the blocks. The long whistle brought him unto the block. “Take your mark…” ‘Give Ken a head start. Come on Matthew.’ “Beep!”

“Go Matthew,” Jerry and I screamed! Matthew was doing just what I wanted. Timothy’s team might be fast, but Matthew was faster than their lead guy. Turn. Matthew was an entire body length ahead of lane four. “GO!” Touch, Ken dove into the water. Matthew crawled out of the pool and laid down breathing hard.

‘Come on Ken!’ He needed to keep up or at least only fall behind a small smidge. Turn. ‘No…’ Ken was dead. He was still swimming fast, but he was really falling behind. Turn. Now Jermey’s relay was beating us, while Timothy’s was now a full body length ahead. “Come on Ken!” The rest of the team was down on the other end screaming their lungs out. Turn. One lap left.

“Jerry. I need you to get me closer. Chase him!” I said to Jerry just as he stepped on the block. “Come on dude,” Touch. Jerry dove.

‘He was doing it. He was chasing.’ “Go Jerry!” Turn. He was now neck and neck with Jeremy’s team. Turn. ‘Passing! Come on dude…give me a chance.’

“Go…Je..rr..y,” Matthew was up and trying to cheer.

‘This can’t be it.’ I turned to look at Coach; he nodded but I could see the worry behind his expression. ‘Not going to happen, Coach.’

Turn. Last lap. I climbed up on the blocks. It was now or never. We were still about half a body length behind lane four. Timothy dove in. ‘Chase!’ Three…Two…One…’Go!’

‘CHASE HIM DOWN,’ I screamed at myself! Turn. This was the moment that truly counts. Turn. I don’t know if my arms are still connected to my body anymore. Turn. I could see Timothy… ‘Stop breathing. Get to the wall! Go!’ I was at his waist…‘GO!’ Shoulder…

Wall.

Cycle of Travels

Travel…

Sights, nature, things.

Love…

Hugs, gatherings, smiles.

Adventure…

Experience, thrive, strive.

Joys…

Laughter, children, food.

Leaving…

Goodbyes, sighs, waves.

Home…

Comfort, happiness, bliss.

Traveling is always fun, but for me it is a great refresher. Home is where I love.

Elizabeth and I will be traveling again soon! So excited to see my mama and siblings. ❤️ it’s been almost one and a half years since I saw my siblings, in person…

So excited!!

So I guess, my poem kind is at war with itself…I love being home, but the thought of seeing my family again makes me willing to travel from home!

If you are with a family member today, give them a hug. Because some people in the world are unable to see their own family members often. ❤️

Digital Art
By emily2jane
06-03-2021

Our Journey

This vacation was to visit the newest baby addition to my sister in-law’s family. All the way to Kentucky.

Our trip was a total of 5 days…

Day 1 Drive eight hours.Hotel. Day 2 direct flight to Cincinnati, drive 10min to Kentucky. Day 3 Kentucky. Day 4 Kentucky. Day 5 Fly plus drive the eight hours. 😩

Day 5 was the worst.

But enough of the depressing things I’ll post some pictures. 🥰

Driving out of our home state. Such a beautiful blue sky.
Next state. I feel like their sky is huge!!
An actual conversation that happened in the car.

It’s funny how my mind and my hubby’s mind work differently. Haha 😂 Elizabeth wanted up. This was going to be a fun day, if we were only into the drive by 3 hours.

Finally!

We went exploring because we got there a bit before we could check in. Next step swimming in the pool to get the wiggles out!!

Scratch that. The pool at our hotel is closed. So we went to the park and let Elizabeth get her wiggles out. The hotel was really crappy. In all our experiences, it was the second worst ever. The first being a weed smelling infested hotel that made me puke. So this one was just a smidge better because it did not smell but it was pretty bad.

Elizabeth was over the car. But at least we are on our way to the airport.

I don’t know if you remember Elizabeth with her backpack…but man, was that a life saver! If you have a two year old, get one. It was amazing.

Elizabeth was doing digital Art. I thought this one was pretty.
Digital Art by Elizabeth
6-2-21
I know airline’s say they wipe everything down due to Covid, but I always wipe everything, I think she might touch, down. Luckily I did because my wipe came back a light brown.

I would suggest wiping down things that claim to be clean. It never is. I’ve been doing this even before Covid. Just because my child has always been curious. She touches everything.

The clouds look like whipped cream. I’m hungry.

Finally to Kentucky. It is beautiful. It’s green! But wow it is humid!! It was 50 something degrees and I was drenched. Compared to home it felt like the air was giving me a sweaty hug. 🥵

Elizabeth and Papa. What a wonderful view they have out their windows.

Next, an outing in Kentucky.

Noah’s Ark.
The tail end.

It was truly amazing!! Except at this area they had fake thunder noises and Elizabeth got scared. She got some extra mama snuggles.

Again Elizabeth touching everything. She liked all the wood. I wiped her hands when we got back to the first floor.

This last picture we had gone up to the third floor of the ark and was slowly making our way down. It was huge!!

The center of the ark. Just think people today had tools and machines. Noah had his hands and the tools he made.

Walking threw the ark made me realize something. Noah was the creator of the term rustic. Whoever claims otherwise is a liar. He started it all. Haha 😆

Elizabeth was Done! at around 2:00. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law do not understand because they have a 1 month year old. Their child is fine as long as she gets to eat and sleep. Not so true for a 2 year old. And I must say! Elizabeth walked almost the entirety of the day…except the first floor of the ark. (It was too crowded and the thunder). My fitbit said I did almost 10,000 steps by this point! But she did amazing. Also we got there around 9:30. So it had been 4.5hrs. But the grandparents and the new parents did not understand.

So around 3:00…the hubby and I were Done! We got the keys to the car and took back our screaming child. The instant we got in the car, she snuggled into me and slept. It was nap time. She probably napped for a good hour and a half. I probably got 30min.

Nap time plus waiting was a total of 3 hours before everyone else showed up…😕 it would have been nice to go back to the hotel before dinner.

Bedtime was interesting… Kentucky is 2 hours ahead of us. So when it was 10pm there, it really felt like 8pm. I feel bad for our neighbors because Elizabeth was finally falling asleep around 11:30 every night.

A park near their house.

So sweet 🥰
She got daddy’s hat…❤️
My extended family.

The day at the park was day four. It was warmer, but with a warmer temp meant sweating from the humidity. If it wasn’t humid and the life pace was a bit slower this would be a wonderful place to live.

Day 5

On the plane and the beautiful sunrise.

We had to wake up at 3:50am. 😒 It was good because we still had the eight hour drive after the flight. But it felt like our 1:50am. I was still on our home town time….😵

Home ❤️

Finally back home. There is no place like home!!

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 46

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 45

CHAPTER 46

I was feeling way better than I expected. Warm-up was a breeze. Friday is going to be a different day; I was determined to make it one. Today would be a quicker meet, since each event only had two heats; but thankfuly there were relays. Warm-up was done. The meetings were done. Now was time to wait.

Matthew and I were in the warm-up pool waiting for our two hundred freestyle to begin. We both had already talked to coach and got our break downs. As the girls event
started, we made our way back behind the blocks. Matthew was up first; this time I cheered for him. However before he was finished, I was behind my lane. Still I looked
to the board as he touched…ninth! 1:50.22!! He dropped another second from Wednesday. My turn. I looked to Coach, and recieved the nod. I saw Jenny off to Coach’s right and she smiled. ‘Get ready to lose the bet, Jenny.’

Long whistle… “Take your mark…Beep!”

I was second! 1:47.02! That was my best time by almost two seconds. To any non swimmers reading, dropping one one-hundreth is a lot to a swimmer. Also first place was
a 1:46.99…so it was only about a hand touch difference. I shook my competitors hand, exchanged the good jobs, then we both proceeded to exit the pool together. Again, I went to the cooldown pool; I feel like I live here. If I could, I would cheer the guys on, but first things first.

As I pushed myself out of the pool, I saw Jenny standing there.

“I can’t remember, did we make the bet for all the races, or just the hundred freestyle?” Jenny asked as she held out my towel for me.

Grabbing it and beginning to walk to Coach, “Sweet! You don’t remember. I could make it for anything then.”

Jenny sarcastically gasped, “I didn’t realize you were this type of person, George.”

“Nah. It was for all of them. One down, only four more to go. And some of them will be first,” I laughed. I peeled my googles and cap off my head. We were almost to Coach’s
chair, so Jenny left my side and walked quickly to Coach’s.

Everyone was swimming great! I was able to watch Jerry and Matthew’s fifty freestyles; even though they were only in the pool for about twenty-one seconds. Time was
being dropped left and right. And my hundred butterfly was no different. First place while dropping another second from Wednsday. ‘That’s two Jenny.’ I was back in the cool down pool waiting for my hundred freestyle. I only have about eight minutes between these two races.

I had already talked to Coach. I was prepared. Jerry was already behind the blocks; I think he was too nervous to wait any longer. The rematch would begin soon.

“You ready to lose again George?” Jeremy had stopped and was resting on the wall. “If you need something to chase, you can follow my feet; because that’s all you are going to see.”

I wasn’t going to engage him, but… “I’ll be chasing something faster,” and with that I climbed out of the pool and walked off to the blocks. ‘Chase a faster you. Focus.’

Jerry was lane one, while I was lane three. I yelled “Good luck,” to him and he returned it. I looked to Coach, he nodded and also gave a fist pump in the air. Jenny…she was smiling, but it was more of a “don’t get third” type of smile. I smiled back. ‘Not gonna happen.’

“Take your mark… I could already see my shadow self in the center of my lane. ‘Chase him down!’ Beep!”

‘Turn. Turn. Catch him! Turn. Almost…Wall!’ I accidently punched the wall; my hand was throbbing. ‘Board!… 44.97…First!…First??’ I looked to Timothy over in lane five. He was smiling. ‘Huh?’ Back at the board…Lane five, First 44.97. ‘Oh. We tied. Sweet!’ I nod to Timothy and he returns it. I look off to Jerry; he was exhausted, but he was shaking lane two’s hand. I remember I should do the same to Jeremy, who as I expected, was fuming. Stretching out my hand to him, he swatted it away
and jumped out of the pool. ‘Figures.’

Timothy had walked towards me and extented his hand. We shook. “Great race. It won’t be a tie next time,” Timothy said as we started walking away from the blocks.

“No. No it will not,” I laughed.

Jerry was already gone. As we got to the cool down pool, Jenny was standing there.

“Should I expect another first or another second?” Jenny smiled and giggled as she walked away.

“Girlfriend?” Timothy asked as he put his goggles back on.

“Nope. Just a good friend who will be losing a bet.” We both jumped into the water.

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 45

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 44

CHAPTER 45

Thursday was just a day to regain a relaxed body before tomorrow. School was school; the teachers thankfully did not assign lots of homework. I was able to finish it between or during the next class. Having one less thing to think about before Finals, will be awesome.

Practice was just a long cooldown. We only did about eight hundred yards and then Coach was calling us to exit the pool. ‘Awesome!’

Sitting in our normal stretching area, “everyone should be proud of the effort they did on Wednsday. Seeing as this is our first year of having a JV swim team, I would like to say that everyone on the JV team had best times.”

‘That’s impressive,’ clapping for the JV swimmers. ‘They are the lower lanes I always talk about.’

“This year we had a total of ten varsity swimmer make it into Finals. Six of those people have successfully placed well enough to be swimming individual events.”

Again a round of applause…

“Tom: the fifty freestyle, placed fifteenth. I would like to add this is his first year making it back. Congratulations. Also Steven, in the one hundred backstroke placed
sixteenth. You two have impressed me. John and Kevin will be joining Tom and Steven for their one relay,” the applause quickly died down as Coach turned to us. “Then those four have made it back in all their races, and will have to add two relays on top of their three individual events. Let’s all wish them luck,” Coach started it off with a slow clap.

“Good luck. You are going to need it,” Michael from JV called out. The rest of the team laughed and clapped along with coach.

“Lastly. Let’s give a big round of applause to our two coaching assistants,” the loudest clap possible erupted from the team, “without these two young ladies I would have
been more overwhelmed, and would be in a worse mood. Thank you, you two.” Coach said that last part directly to Jenny and Brit. They both nodded but were probably too embarressed
to actually speak.

“Okay. Get out of here! …George,” Coach grabbed my shoulder making me stop, “stay behind. We need to discuss things. You all go on ahead.”

“We will wait out front for you, George,” Ken and Matthew called out as they headed to the locker room.

“So, I am assuming you discovered what you did wrong on Wednesday?” Coach had pulled me to the bleachers so that we could sit as we talked.

“Yeah. I was focused, but I was too focused. I didn’t realize that could happen.”

“Oh. It is definately a possiblity. I could see it before your race. Also the fact that you were too distracted to come talk to me before the race. I have to admit, you did better that I thought you would.” Coach placed a hand on my shoulder, “even though, it seems like you didn’t succeed you should still feel quite accomplished,” then he let his hand drop off.

“I don’t feel like I accomplished anything. You gave me all the tools to be great and I screwed it all up,” frustration was coming through. I guess I didn’t actually accept my mistake as much as I thought.

“Think of it this way. You still have the chance to use all the knowledge and gains I’ve given you, tomorrow. Also that you were able stay in the top three, for yes, swimming a terrible race. You have the potential to be first tomorrow; only if you swim it correctly. Race against yourself; no one else matters.”

“Roger that, Coach,” Coach always knows what I need to hear.

“Now get going. I’ve got to go pick up my daughter,” Coach said getting up and heading to his office.

Finally out of the locker rooms. ‘Hopefully Dad did not leave without me.’ I ran straight into Jenny. Grabbing her arm before she fell backwards, “Oh sorry. I wasn’t watching where I was going. You good?”

Jenny regaining her balance, “No problem George.”

Once I knew she was good I let go. Scanning, “Do you see my Dad’s truck?”

“Your Dad said he would take Ken and Matthew home. He dropped off your jeep for you,” she said as she helped turn my head towards where the jeep was parked.

“Sweet. Thanks Jenny. See you tomorrow,” I step by her and head off to the jeep. After I throw my bag into the backseat and I open my driver side door, I see Jenny standing there in front of the jeep. “You need something?” She doesn’t answer, but instead instinctively she walks to the passenger door and waits for me to unlock it. ‘I guess she needs a ride.’ I unlock her door and climb into my seat as she too sits in hers.

“I’m just assuming I am taking you home?”

“Yeah. Oh. Your Dad told me he would text you and let you know. If it’s a problem I can…” Jenny began to sit up preparing to exit the vehicle.

“You’re good. Just chill,” I push her back against the seat, “Buckle up. Let’s go.” I pull out of the parking lots and off to Jenny’s house once again.

“So…Can I ask you something?” Jenny spoke after a few minutes.

Thankfully it was not going to be another silent drive, “Sure. What’s up?”

“Why did you ignore and brush me off at the meet? It was so unlike you. Were you…like…mad at me?”

I could hear the hurt in her voice. ‘Wow. Good job George.’ “Not at all. I will admit I was a little too serious and yeah, now as I’m thinking about it I was a bit harsh, but it depends on the swimmer. I tend to enter a bubble…” she was looking at me like I was nuts. “Except for the guys, or on a relay, I will become completely
focused on swimming, and I won’t really acknowledge anyone around me. Remember you had to shake me to get my attention,” she nodded, “I was in my bubble.”

“Okay. I kind of understand. Tomorrow I won’t take it serious if you totally blow me off,” Jenny smiled, but I could still see hurt behind her smile.

“It is nothing personal. Tomorrow is going to be different than Wednesday; I am going to be focused but I am going to be more like my normal self and hang with guys,” now I understood what this terrible gut feeling was… “I feel the worst towards them. I was so focused on myself that I forgot that they also need support. I let them down, and I didn’t gain anything.”

“Don’t worry too much George. I’m sure your friends understand. What I understand about them; they do seem understanding in many different types of situations…like…,” Jenny cut herself off and obviously shut her mouth to not continue.

‘I wonder what she means by that?’ “Here we are. I probably know the way to your house by heart now, haha,” we chuckle together as she gathers her belongings. Once again
before heading to her door she comes to my window.

“I have a proposition for you,” Jenny crossed her arms in front of her body looking very determined.

“Okay. I’ll bite,” I smirk and lean out the window.

“More like a bet I guess. I bet you anything, you won’t place top two in all of your events tomorrow,” she tried but couldn’t hide her smile.

“Anything?…That is a dangerous offer…” I smile knowing what she was up to.

“Sure. Anything. But you have to be in the top two for all races, including relays.” Jenny stuck out her hand, “Deal?”

That’s a bit more difficult. Becuase relays are not just me, I have to depend on the guys.’ But I was not about to give up this chance, “You’re on!” I accepted the her hand.

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 44

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 43

CHAPTER 44

First turn. ‘Where did he go?’ Timothy was gone. ‘No way…’

Second turn. I can see his kicking. ‘I’m coming after you.’ My muscles were dying. My lunges were burning.

Third turn…‘rib cage’…

No breathing…one…two…three…

Look at the board… Lane 4 2nd 46.32… ‘Did I…get…first?’

Lane 5 3rd 46.38…‘Third!?! What is happening? Who got first?”

Lane 3 1st 46.20…Jeremy??? ‘WHAT!?!’

Confusion was an understatement. ‘How did I lose to Jeremy?’ I remember where I am, I accept Timothy’s handshake; then I peel myself out of the pool. I needed to
cooldown and figure out what went wrong…

I have no way of knowing, how long I have been swimming for. I was at least no longer sore. Still confused though…I did everything Coach has trained me to do. I put everything I had into that race. I was focused. I… I had no clue…

I grabbed my towel and was heading back to Coach; awaiting the dreaded talk. ‘Wait? How did Jerry do in the hundred freestyle? What event are they on now?’ As I made it to Coach’s chair: I peeked around the coaches’ heads and saw breaststroke…? ‘It’s already the last event?’ Coach, Jenny, and Brit were all cheering and intensely watching Ken swim. ‘Ken!?’ I forgot everything and rushed back behind Ken’s lane. The whole team was there cheering him on. Two more laps. “Come on Ken!” I yelled for my bud. He was kicking butt and taking names. A few teammates turned at the sound of my voice, but quickly returned their gaze on what was important.

“Go!… Go!… Go!” We all yelled in tempo with him as he continued to push through the water. ‘Only a few more strokes…’ “Go Ken!”

‘This.’ This is what I was missing. It wasn’t my meet. It was our meet. I should have treated this meet the same as all my previous competitions. Try, but don’t take the fun out of it. I was too focused. I should have raced myself…not lane four or lane three… I should have chased down a faster version of myself in my own lane. That’s probably what Jermey did, and that’s why he won. Touch! Ken had gotten 1st in his heat, but we would have to wait for the results to see what he got overall. The team dispersed and I made my way back over to Coach’s chair. Wednesday meet was finished. I needed to own up to my mistake.

Without talking, Coach and I looked at each other. I nodded. Then Coach nodded in return. Nothing more was said about my mistake. He read off my splts. I was surprised that I actually dropped two tenths of a second; however, Coach said I should be at a low forty-five on Friday. “Thanks Coach,” I turn to go hang with the guys and the rest of the team.

“George,” Jenny grabbed my wrist and stopped me, “Good job today!”

Based on her face, she expected more than a quick nod or rushed answer, “Thanks Jenny,” I smiled and stayed by her. Which was perfect timing because here came Ken.

“Good job Bro!” I lightly slap Ken on the back. ‘He must be dead after swimming the hardest event, at least to me.’

“Thanks Bro. Coach do you know my overall place yet?” Ken asked as he commendeered some of my towel.

I just gave in and handed him the towel. I wasn’t about to share this small towel between two teenage guys. ‘That would just be too weird.’

“Not yet. Jenny. Go check and see if the results are posted,” Jenny left quickly. Coach read off Ken’s splits.

Jenny had came back and she quietly told Coach the results. He nodded with no expression. “Well Ken. I am sorry to inform you, but you were disqualified.”

“What? No way. I was legal…” Ken started to protest.

“You got third overall,” Coach sat down, with a smirk plastered on his face.

I held in the laughter. Ken seemed to have not register what Coach had said yet. Jenny and I stared at Ken waiting for the light bulb to go off…

“Oh! Coach. Not cool. I almost had a heart attack,” Ken was not amused. But then gradually a smile crept onto his face. “Sweet Third!”

“That took him a while…” Jenny started to giggle.

“Ken is nitorious for not actually listening,” I laughed while dodging the side jab from Ken. I grabbed Jenny’s waist and pulled her towards me and away from Ken’s unexpected second jab.

“What? Oh, thanks,” Jenny said as my hand fell off of her.

“Well you two get changed. I want to be on the road as soon as possible,” Coach began gathering up his belongings, but leaving his chair. “Jenny take this to the bus,” Coach handed Jenny his bag, “I’ve got to go say goodbye to some officals.”

“Here. Give the bags,” taking Coach’s and Brit’s bag from Jenny’s shoulder; leaving her only to carry hers. “I’ll help carry these to the team spot.” Without waiting for arguing, I start walking. Jenny must have speed-walked to catch up, so we walked together to the waiting team.