Tag Archives: Swimming

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 37

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 36


As the warm water sprayed down my back, I thought about what had happened today. I swam my butt off in that fifty, and I really have no idea how I actually swam it. ‘Like the technique.’ After that fifty, I stayed in the same position; leading the third lane of the A-Strings. Thankfully practice was just an endurance day. Lots of kicking and pulling. Nothing too exciting.

“George?” Jeremy broke my thoughts.

“Yeah,” I came back to reality.

“I asked how did that fifty feel? You were flying!” Jeremy asked but Timothy’s expression showed interest as well.

“It felt amazing. But I have no idea what I actually did technique-wise, so I don’t know if I could actually do that again,” I didn’t want to admit that, but it was the truth.

“Well,” Timothy started, “you have done it once; you’ll do it again. Especially now that Coach Jones knows you can,” Timothy gave a concerned but encouraging face.

‘True. Now that Coach Jones knows I can, he is going to want that every time. Great.’ I sighed and just continued to shower off.

Thankfully Coach Jones stated after practice that if anything happens in the locker rooms he will deal with the situation accordingly. Meaning, none of the upperclassmen bothered me.

“Let’s hurry! Coach Jones wanted to say a few more things after we all change,” Timothy said exiting the shower, and quickly drying off.

As much as I wanted to stay in the shower, I followed pursuit of Timothy, and dragged Jeremy to follow.

“Everyone present?” Coach bellowed over the voices. Silence was his answer. “Good. Now I won’t be picking strings today, because of the situtation George and Kevin had today. I want everyone to be on an even playing field when I do.”

At the mention of Kevin’s name, I searched the crowd looking for him. No such luck. I returned my attention back to Coach Jones.

“For the first two weeks, I have chosen everyone’s roommates. Some new faces will be seen in rooms and some familiar. After the first two weeks, we will hold a mock meet to determine strings. However, do not be lazy during the first two weeks; I will be looking at your effort in those practices too, when I make my descion. My upperclassmen you may leave,” Coach looked to Bryan and nodded him to be the example.

“Head out team,” Bryan yelled as he swung his bag onto his shoulder and started for the exit.

I got several glares as the upperclassmen walked past me. Especially Bryan. ‘This is going to be a fun first two weeks.’

“Now my newest freshmen. You will all be rooming together. I have the lists hanging outside. We only seem to have five new girl athletes joining us this year, so I will be assigning the larger room to you five. All othe rooms will be of four people. If you have different prefrences for the arrangments I have made, tell Coach Steve.
He will be in charge of you lot until things are finalized in two weeks. Enjoy these two weeks while you can, everything will change. You may leave,” Coach looked to Coach Steve to intiate the departure. Slowly the bodies left.

Only the high school returnees were on the deck.

“You lot will have the toughest time,” Coach had finally looked up from his clipboard.

‘Nice upbeat start to the talk. Oh, Coach Jones.’ I shook my head.

“Yep. Geroge’s reaction is correct. It is wrong that you all will be bullied and pushed around, but I know it will happen. I do not approve of hazing, but know that whatever you exprerience is less than what your upperclassmen experienced when they were in your positions. Earlier when I said give the respect they deserve I meant it. The respect they deserve! If they don’t deserve respect because of their actions do not give them an inch. Those of you who cower in front of them now will never be out of their shadows until they graduate. Stand your ground,” Coach Jones’ voice changed from informative to engouraging towards the end.

‘Better. He is getting better.’

“If anything be like George,” Coach Jones pointed to me amoung my teammates, “He did not back down when I put him on the spot. He swam his heart out, even though it meant that all the upperclassmen would target him directly after. Maybe not all this year, but I expect several of you to knock some A-String swimmers out of their spots this year! Do not let your Coach down,” Coach started to pass out a paper. “These are the rooming assignmments I chose. You can make changes for these first two weeks, but then
several of you will move. George, Timothy, and Jeremy, stay; the rest of you leave.”

Jeremy, Timothy, and I watched as our fellow teammates made their way through the doors we had entered only two hours ago.

“So Timothy,” Coach interupted our thoughts, “where is Antonio?”

“He last minute said he needed to head home urgently. I’m assuming something must have happen to his family. He wanted to continue but family came first, I suppose,” Timothy answered.

I draped my arm over Timothy’s shoulder; I know he wasn’t showing it but he was hurting since part of his swim family was gone.

“I understand. Antonio told me that someone in his family was sick, and that he would have to leave aburptly if their health declined. I understand, but I am bummed that his career is probably over. He was an amazing Breaststroker. Well, now on to current things. You three will be roommates these first two weeks. I want there to be no possibilities for problems while you three are trying to figure out college life with swimming. Get into the rhythm, but don’t get too comfortable. Once morning practices start your daily lives will seem like a blur until you get on track. Especially when you move rooms,” Coach looked at me when he finished.

‘I knew it was going to happen.’ I would have to room with upperclassmen when the Strings are determined. I understood it, but I was hoping for at least one year of peace before being thrown into the chaos. I still nodded to Coach Jones to show I understood.

“Good. Now you will have one other athlete in your room. He is in the last place of the A-Strings. I wanted you three to be able to pick his brain about college life; that is, if the upperclassmen allow him to do so. He might be a friend or maybe a foe. You will have to determine for yourself. But it will prepare you for new roommates. Be strong you three. I truly hope to see you in the A-Strings at the end of these two weeks. If not, we will do another mock meet in the middle of the year. Nothing is ever set in stone. Now get out of here,” and Coach Jones walked off and into his office.

‘I knew this year was going to be hectic, but what Coach Jones just described is more than I imagined as a freshmen. Oh well, it’s the swimming life.’ “You guys hungry? I’m hungry.” I dropped my arm off of Timothy’s shoulder and scooped up my bag.

“I’m always hungry,” Jeremy swung his bag up too.

We looked at Timothy.

“What athlete is never not hungry?” Timothy must have thought our questioning looks were rhetorical.

We started walking out the doors of the pool. Our turf. And there in our path stood a guy, maybe our age; red hair, tan skin, and posture that suggested annoyance.

“You are?” Jeremy questioned the guy; he seemed like he would not be moving out of our way.

“I’m Charlie,” the guy answered, “I’m your new roommate.”

Random Word: Tremendous

Synonyms: huge, enormous, massive, immense, colossal, prodigious, etc.

First thing that came to mind… sharks.

Which I know is not the best association with tremendous. But I have an irrational fear of sharks. Not that a fear of sharks is not normal, but I fear sharks in places that sharks cannot actually be.

The swimming pool. Early or late practices, where you would see shadows. I would panic sometimes, irrationally, that a shark was stalking me.

In lakes. I once swam a 5K in a fresh water lake (dam) and I was panicking that a shark would appear.

When I was younger. This is more my siblings fault… but I would always have dreams of sharks attacking me, chasing me, or attacking my siblings and I always would save them and die.

My siblings found it hilarious to prank me. Humming the Jaws sound. Setting the family computer screen saver as sharks. Showing me videos of surprise shark attacks. Lovely things like that.

So much so that I cannot watch shark scenes in movies. That if the characters at all end up in a boat or in the ocean I begin to panic that a shark is going to appear. Which I was watching a movie yesterday, Unbroken, intense movie! But there are scenes of the characters surviving on a life boat in the middle of the ocean. I had to skip many parts of the movie… thankfully the music was great at foreshadowing. (I am not spoiling anything. It is in the description of the film.)

I will never watch Jaws! My brothers have tried to convince me for years. “That I’m missing out on a right of passage”, but nope. Not going to happen.

Tremendous….sharks…literally no, but in my brain yes.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 36

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 35


I felt like I was flying. Maybe all that waiting while actively stretching kept my muscles awake. But I felt great! Flip. One more lap to go! This was my race; no one else was in the pool. Middle. My legs were flying. Flags. Five more strokes. Four, three, two, one. Wall! ‘Man! my lungs are on fire.’ I gasped for air. ‘Did I even breath on that fifty?’ I had no idea what was going on around me; I was just focusing on gasping for air.

“George?” Jeremy’s voice entered my head.

‘Jeremy?’ I slowly gained more clarity and looked to my left and there on the wall was a worried Jeremy.

“Dude?! Why do you always push yourself to this point?” Jeremy sighed in relief as I ackowledge his precense.

“Because. That’s what I do,” I whispered out as I continued my goal of breathing.

“Excellent George. Did you all see? This is what I meant by going beyond my expectations,” Coach Jones was walking towards my lane.

I began to look around me and I saw the astonished and annoyed looks on some of the upperclassmen’s faces. I turned away from them and looked over Jeremy’s shoulder to see only bewildered faces on the other freshmen. I looked in lane five but saw no Kevin. I looked at Jeremy quizzically.

“He left. He never climbed up on the blocks,” Jeremy hushly answered me as Coach finally stepped in front of my lane.

“Well done, George. I am glad to see that the week of vacation I gave you did not go to waste,” Coach Jones glanced back to his watch. “With a time of… 20.12.”

‘What!?’ I had no energy to react, but my brain did. 20…I’ve only come close to a twenty, once during the two years with Coach Jones. But never in practice. I was stunned.

I could hear all the whispers of amazement around me but I really couldn’t focus. “Coach, can I cool down now?”

“Of course George. Do at least a three hundred. You will have to continue with practice once you are done,” Coach stepped back from the lane, stopwatch still in his hand.

I left the wall. My muscles were on fire.

The Year 2022

This year, so far, has been full. As you may have noticed, I’ve only been posting chapters of my story. That’s only possible because I can write multiple chapters at once and post them accordingly.

But there are many changes this year. My daughter is three years old, and I cannot believe how time has passed. Her shoulder now fits under the lip of our dinning room table. She is expressing herself with words. She helps and takes care of me as I would to her. Now with her little brother on the way, I can’t help but remember when she was just a small little thing in my arms.

Next… my niece is starting to walk. She will be one year old next month. I just watched a video of a confident little girl strutting down the carpet. Last time I met her was a tiny peanut. No personality, just a little ball of love.

And next… my nephew is turning 15 this year. 15!!! My nephew who is now taller than me by about an inch. My nephew who I remember how he used to chase my dog, Sammy, around the backyard in his onesie. RIP Sammy ❤️ He is turning 15! That’s crazy to me.

The final one for now, but definitely not the last: I haven’t competed in swimming in almost 10 years. I still have dreams about racing, and I remember all the struggles and successes I had in my swimming career. But I haven’t done that in almost 10 years… that’s just amazes me. Especially since I did it for 14 years.

Which is why I am loving writing this story of a boy’s life of swimming. Not everything is from my past, but I’m able to get my desires out of my heart and into a narrative. It’s my way of continuing to live the swimming life without giving up what I have gained in these 10 years.

My husband. My daughter. My expected son. My home. My family.

As much as I love the idea of competing again. It can not measure up to the amount of love I have towards my splendor in life.

Year 2022, has been full; to the fullest. But I’m excited for the years to come. My days competing might be over, but I’m excited for this new adventure!

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 35

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 34


I was doing as Coach suggested. I was going my normal pace now. When we first started the set, the guy Kevin behind me did seem to pick up his pace; because for the first few fifties, he was right on my feet. I only added about five percent, and I was able to keep him at a distance. However now, Kevin had slowed back down. ‘I’m guessing to his normal warm-up speed.’ Now he was following right behind me. It felt awesome knowing Coach Jones knows I can hold my own.

As I finished the set, I looked to my left and there was Jeremy. ‘Wow. He surpassed Timothy. But cool, he was keeping up with me.’ We nodded to each other, but we both paused long enough to catch our breaths before we started the next phase of warm-up.

Kevin came into the wall; I scooted over to accommodate all the other swimmers coming into the wall.

“Dude,” Kevin coughed out hanging on the wall, “why are you going so fast? This is only warm-up. You are going to tire yourself out.”

“I’m good,” I waited for the next sixty to appear. ‘What am I supposed to say? I am following what Coach Jones told me to do. This was my normal speed for warm-up.’ The sixty came and I was off.

I was impressed that Jeremy was able to keep up with me; even though now looking at him I could see that he might have used up all his energy for most of the warm-up.

“Keep it up Jeremy. You are doing great!” I called over to Jeremy as Kevin came into the wall.

“Scoot over,” Kevin shoved me towards the lane-line.

“Sure,” I quickly manuvered myself so that he would not shoved me directly into the lane-line. “Dude, back off,” I held a hand out to stop him from getting too close.

“Get off of me,” Kevin swatted my hand away and continued his pursuit to push me into the lane-line.

‘There is no reasoning with this one. What is his deal?’ I left the wall and started treading water just under the flags.

“Hold up!” Coach Jones’ voice blarred over all the talking. Coach Jones got up from his chair and was making his way over.

The only noise you could hear was the C-string’s finishing their warm-up.

“Now you’ve done it,” Kevin mumbled under his breath and glared at me.

‘Sure. Whatever dude.’

Coach Jones stopped directly behind our lane. I was still treading water, and all the other swimmers, including Kevin, turned to acknowledge Coach Jones’ precence. “I don’t care what is happening. However, I will not allow this behavior. We will settle this now.” Coach took out his whistle and consistently blew it until all the athletes stopped swimming. “Come!” Coach Jones bellowed and waved to the wall, “You too George.”

I swam back towards the wall. I was unsure if Kevin would actually let me reach it; his stare was like a death glare.

All the other lanes had now reached the wall. Except the ripples of water into the gutter, silence was once again present.

“Well,” Coach Jones started, “it seems like there is a disput going on already between two athletes. So we will end it swiftly and quickly; I want you two,” Coach Jones pointed at Kevin and me, “to race an all out fifty freestyle now.”

Whispers again erupted from the pool. ‘Why does it seem like today I am constantly surrounded by whispering?’ I pulled my body up and out of the pool; Kevin followed after me.

“George, lane three. Kevin, lane five,” Coach Jones pulled his stopwatch out of his pocket.

I started to jump and swing my arms. Every race must be taken seriously; no matter the reasons behind it.

Kevin was just standing still with his arms crossed.

“Alright. Seems like you are both ready,” the whistle blared calling us to the blocks.

I climbed the block, prepared my stance, and waited for the “Take your mark.” But nothing came. I still waited.

“Stand.” Coach Jones broke my concertration.

I stood to find that Kevin was not on the blocks; instead he still stood behind it with his arms crossed.

“Step down George, but keep moving,” Coach said as he slowly made his way past me and to Kevin’s lane.

I stepped down off of the blocks, removed my goggles, and walked away from the eye-line of Kevin who was still unwilling to move. I did what Coach Jones said, and continued to stretch, and keep my muscles warm.

“What seems to be the problem Kevin?” Coach said as he finally made it to the still stubbornly quiet Kevin.

I now had a chance to see Kevin. He must be a sophmore or junior. He was maybe five foot eleven, blonde hair, paler skin, and seemed nervous about the situation he was in currently.

“Why are my skills being question?” Kevin asked calmly. “And why for a freshmen?” Kevin was no longer collected.

So that’s why. It’s because I am a freshmen.’ I was trying to ignore the conversation, but it’s hard to do so when you seem to be the cause of it all. I just continued to stretch.

“Why can’t it be a freshmen? I need athletes that want it. That are willing to push themselves beyond my expectations,” I could hear the annoyance in Coach Jones voice. “Kevin you
have been my swimmer just as long as George has. He went to the high school program here, and you are now a junior. You are both technically on even playing fields. But do you see him backing down from this,” Coach Jones pointed in my direction. “Do you?”

Kevin glanced at me, and I made sure to be looking elsewhere. I didn’t want to read his expression. This was his problem; he should solve it.

“No. He is not. Because he has you backing him up,” Kevin mumbled under his breath.



I had stopped stretching.

“What?!” Kevin exclaimed.

“Leave. If you believe I am that type of Coach; someone that holds certain athletes above others. Then you will not do well on this team. Leave,” Coach stretched out his hand to the doors that we had entered in not long ago.

Kevin just stood there. Not moving once again.

“Leave or get on the block,” Coach Jones walked back to where he was standing when this all started.

I resummed my place behind the block waiting for the whistle. Coach Jones blew it and I climbed up.

‘Whether Kevin swam or not, I was going to give this fifty my all.’

“Take your mark….”




Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 34

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 33


Even though we were all starting fresh, we still stayed in our beginning groups. Our assistant Coach Wayne said it was becuase, as we know, anything can happen in warm-up. This group has swam at meets together before, so we know our order and speeds already. If we were to mix with other groups for stretching and warm-ups, it would not be as efficient. We all now how much Coach Jones thrives for effienecy.

“Why are you all still stretching. Let’s begin. Upperclassmen do the normal meet warm-up, my newest freshmen follow Coach Steve’s command. George!”

“Yeah Coach,” I didn’t think anything of it; until all eyes stared in my direction.

“Lead them in the normal invitational warm-up,” Coach Jones didn’t even look up from his clipboard.

“Okay Coach.” I turned to make sure Jeremy and Timothy were in their normal positions, first and second. “Get in the normal order.” I called to the other athletes, “If you were never at an invitational meet, ask your teammate in front of you for the next set.” ‘I was right at home now.’

“Dude, look at them;” Jeremey mumbled under his breath, “they do not look happy.”

“No need,” I responded, “what’s the point. We are all going to be teammates in the future.” I did not look towards the upperclassmen. As Coach said nothing was set in stone, and I am determined to take a spot on the A-String. I put my goggles on and continued to warm-up my muscles. ‘This is the start of my future.’

The whistle sounded and I was in the pool.

It was great to be back in the pool. I felt a little out of place since its been about two days since I trained, but I still was able to keep ahead of Timothy. I have to keep up my best. The only difference between normal meet warm-up and invitational warm-up was about six hundred yards.

Flip-turn, push off the wall. ‘Man its great to be back in the pool!’ I don’t understand why the upperclassmen were annoyed that Coach Jones called me out personally. I have swam for him for two years now; I was the lead on that team. It is normal for Coach Jones to give me orders. ‘Whatever.’ Flip turn; one more turn and we start the set.

“George,” Coach Jones stopped me before I began the next part of the warm-up, “scoot over a lane and continue the warm-up leading this lane.”

Before moving, I looked over to where Coach Jones was pointing. and it was the third lower lane of the upperclassmen. I didn’t hesistate; I ducked under the lane-line and took up the small section on wall meant for the first person. ‘Nothing but glares acknowledged my presence.’

“George,” Coach Jones pulled me back into focus, “use your normal speed; do not speed up, you will be fine unless Kevin decides to speed up.”

Coach Jones must have been reffering to the guy behind me. Because I heard a sudden huff as Coach spoke.

“No problem Coach,” I got ready to leave on the sixty.

“Both the third lane of the A-strings and the top lane of the B-strings will continue warm-up together,” Coach Jones finished speaking just as the sixty came.

I was off.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 36

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 35


I felt like I was flying. Maybe all that actively waiting with stretching kept my muscles awake. But I felt great! Flip. One more lap to go! This was my race! Middle. My legs were flying. Flags…Five more strokes. Four, three, two, one. Wall! ‘Man my lungs are on fire.’ I gasped for air. ‘Did I even breath on that fifty?’ I had no idea what was going on around me; I was just focusing on air.

“George?” Jeremy’s voice entered my head.

Jeremy?’ I slowly gained more clarity and looked to my left and there on the wall was a worried Jeremy.

“Dude?! Why do you always push yourself to this point?” Jeremy sighed in relief as I ackowledge his precense.

“Because. That’s what I do,” I whispered with a chuckle as I continued my goal of breathing.

“Excellent George. Did you all see? This is what I mean by going beyond my expectations,” Coach Jones was now walking towards my lane.

I began to look around me and I saw the astonished and annoyed looks from some of the upperclassmen’s faces. I turned away from them and looked over Jeremy’s shoulder to see only bewildered faces on the other freshmen. I glanced at lane five but saw no Kevin. I looked at Jeremy quizically.

“He left. He never climbed up on the blocks,” Jeremy hushly answered me as Coach finally stepped in front of my lane.

“Well done George. I am glad to see that the week of vacation I gave you did not go to waste,” Coach Jones glaced back to his watch. “With a time of, 20.12.”

What!?’ I had no energy to react but my brain did. 20…I’ve come close to a twenty once during the two years with Coach Jones. But never in practice. I was stunned.

I could hear all the whispers of amazement around me but I really couldn’t focus. “Coach, can I cool down now?”

“Of course George. Do at least a three hundred. You will have to continue with practice once you are done,” Coach stepped back from the lane, stopwatch still in his hand.

I left the wall. My muscles were on fire.

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 33

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 32


Finally the deck. ‘Oh how I’ve missed the cholrine smell.’ However this time, Jeremy and I walk onto the deck, into a crowd of people. All of them of course athletes, because we all had our swim gear bags with us. After introductions we would have a practice.

We weaved through the bodies looking for a familar face. We spotted Timothy by one of the pool ladders. We made our way to him. “Hey Timothy,” I said as we met up with him, “how long have you been here?”

“Not too long,” Timothy hushly answered, “But thankfully I got here before the huge crowd of people showed up. I’m amazed at how many people are trying to join the team; will there even be enough space for us returnees to have space in the pool?”

Jeremy laughed, “True. We might have to swim in the outdoor pool as well.”

I looked out the windows at the outdoor pool. Maybe once the season changes, but right now that pool must be fridged out there.

“Have you seen Anotnio yet?” Jeremy asked searching the crowd.

“He is not continuing this year,” Timothy answered.

“What!?!” Jeremy and I both exclamied at once. Then we remembered our surroundings, “What do you mean not coming back?” in a more hushed tone.

“He was planning on staying, but last minute he decided to return home. I think something happened in his family, but that’s just my own thought,” Timothy said expressionless.

“You doing okay? He was your roomate for two years,” I swung my arm around Timothy’s shoulders.

He shrugged it off. “Yeah. I lost a brother, but at least he is back home. But be careful with your actions George. The older swimmers here are not to be taken lightly; show no weakness in front of them or your life here is going to be miserable.” Timothy had turned his attention to the left.

I looked in that direction and saw what he meant. The upperclassmen had walked in through the opposite side door. They walked in with the attidude that Timothy was talking about. That they would crush you if you gave them the chance.

“Don’t worry about that with this one,” Jeremy thumbed at me, “he…” Jeremy stopped abruptly as Coach Jones made his appearence on the deck.

“Now. Is everyone here? I’ll give the few straglers one minute more, but if they are late they will have to wait outdoors,” Coach said as he watched his watch.

Silence filled the room.

‘The no nonsense Coach had returned.’

Two athletes ran onto the deck just as Coach yelled time.

“You two barely made it,” Coach said as he walked past the newcomers and to the doors behind them, and dead locked the doors. As Coach walked away knocking began on the doors. “Leave them,” Coach said walking back to the front, “if they wanted to be here they would have been here on time.” Coach turned to his new assistant coach, “Go out the side door and tell them to either leave or wait the two hours.”

The new assistant followed the order and went to crush those athletes plans.

“Now. As you can see, attendence and punctuality is key on this team. Some choices are determined by those two key points. Moving on,” Coach pulled out a clip board, “All my Montana athletes move to my right. This includes my returning College athletes and my high school athletes.”

Timothy, Jeremy, and I started to walk to Coach’s right. But also many faces from our high school days also followed. Then all the upperclassmen joined all the freshmen on Coach’s right. Which only left about thirty athletes still standing in front of us. One of those faces were fimilar though, it was Stephine from orientation.

“Good. A larger group this year than the last,” Coach continued to gaze down at his clipboard. “Timothy,” Coach glanced up and straight at Timothy who was beside me, “Where is Antonio?”


“Nevermind, tell me after today,” Coach returned his attention to the athletes in front. “All athletes are welcome to join. My Montana high school athletes will all start on the B string, unless changed later. All you new athletes will be on the C string. To participate in invitationals you will need to be a B string or better. Hard work will determine your string. Now, all my freshmen on my right move to my left.”

Once again the three of us and a huge percentage moved to Coach’s left side.

Once all us freshmen had moved, I look to Coach’s right side. All the athletes that stood next to Coach were all the upperclassmen; and there in the middle stood Bryan from the hazing before. Being teammates with him is going to be a pain all in itsef. ‘Life here at school is going to be difficult, especially since we are no longer at the top of the food chain.’

“Good. These swimmers on my right, are your upperclassmen or seniors. Show them the respect they deserve; they will be your targets for the next few years. Your goal as freshmen is to bump these top athletes out of their spots. And you upperclassmen need to hold onto your spots; but know, there are a few here that will take your spots within the first weeks if you don’t up your effort.” Coach paused side glancing me.

Thankfully no one saw him or I would already have that target on my back.

“On that note. Practice begins. Each string will have an assistant coach. I will be overseeing everyone and deciding temporary strings today. Nothing is set in stone,” Coach walked away and down the deck.

Whispers erupted from everyone. ‘And I mean everyone.’ The upperclassmen were the loudest.

“What does he mean he will pick temporary strings? I thought my spot was final for awhile!?” Similar statements were being said until the assistant Coaches told us to get changed and start stretching.

As we walked into the locker rooms, “At least all of us have a fresh chance,” Jeremy started to change.

‘Yeah. We all have a fresh start.’

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 32

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 31


Once we were a safe distance from the auditorium, I stopped and collapsed onto a bench. Jeremy collapsed onto the ground.

“What’s your problem,” Jeremy huffed out, “was it really that bad?”

I couldn’t think straight. I focused on my breathing before answering him, “Yeah, it was pretty bad. I didn’t know I had become so terrible at speaking in front of people who are not in the swimming world. But also why did they have to do that. I wanted to be known for my swimming abilites, not my academics. If I could I would drop the second major and just focus on swimming.” I dropped backwards onto the rest of the bench and threw my arm over my eyes to shield them from the sun.

“Yeah. I can understand you, but is normal for the school to take pride in the acedemics; they are a school afterall,” Jeremy had stood back up. “Are you good now?”

“Yeah.” I sat up and stared at Jeremy. I was still pisssed at him for poking fun earlier, but I know that is just his personality. ‘Let it slide.’ I gathered up my backpack and threw Jeremy’s at him. “What’s next?”

“Lunch. Moving dorms. Then the pool,” Jeremy started to head to the cafeteria.

‘The pool.’

Lunch was fantastic! Not as good as mom’s food though. But the cafeteria was huge; there were three levels of seating and different food stalls. It seemed more like a mall food plaza than a school cafeteria.

Moving rooms was also not too bad. Jeremy and I were still roomates. Also, thankfully the school roomed us with two other swimmer freshmen. Having roomates of different sports would have been difficult. Jeremy and I were the first in the room so we picked the two beds lining the wall side of the room. We are used to being in close
quarters, that we thought we would give the new guys their own choice on the other side.

“Getting into a loft bed after a long paiful practice is going to be the pits,” Jeremy said as he climbed the ladder and first tested out the bed.

‘True.’ I started to organize my desk and put my clothes away when the door flew open and in walked four guys. They looked a bit older than us, but maybe they were freshmen.

“So these are two more freshmeat,” one of the guys said; he had black hair and piercings on one ear. “These two don’t look like much. Right guys?”

The rest of them chuckled.

‘Yep. They were older. Hazing. It’s just the normal cycle of any sport.’ I know it was the wrong move, but I just ignored them and sat down on the desk waiting for what they wanted. Jermy followed my pursuit and sat quietly in bed waiting for the rest of the smack talk.

“What? No respect for your upperclassmen?” the guy who had started all this looked baffled at the lack of response we gave him.

‘Don’t respoond.’

The guy started to walk into the room but the other guys with him held him back. “Let’s go to the next room, Bryan,” one of the taller guys said as he dragged so called Bryan into the hall. The last of them closed the door behind them.

“Man, you could have cut the tension in this room with a knife,” Jeremy thudded back on his bed.

‘Like any school…’ I just shrugged my shoulders and continued to unpack.

“Your confindence is going to get us in trouble one of these days,” Jeremy said to the ceiling. “But I like your style when dealing with those types of jerks.”

I smirked when he said that. ‘This might not be the pool, but it is still my turf.’

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 31

Life Of Two Best Friends: College CHPT 30


Thankfully we didn’t have to be the pool until after orientation. Still, Jeremy and I seemed to start the day off wrong. We panically threw our clothes on, grabbed our backpacks, and were out the door. We would deal with our belongings later.

‘I must admit, I have become somewhat of a hermit now. Outside of the pool, I am a clueless human.’ Jeremy is different; he seems to thrive amongst crowds. He asked all of the questions to random people of where the freshmen athletes meet. Turns out all freshmen meet in the same auditorium, no matter your major. Makes sense actually because not only must athletes succeed in their sport, but we have to keep a 2.0 in our seperate acedemic major. College is going to be more difficult.

“Dude!” Jeremy waved from the doors about twenty feet away, “catch up will you?”

I had stopped following him. I was surrounded by people, that my body must have stopped working. I quickly ran to catch up to Jeremy. ‘I never thought I would become this type of person.’

Jeremy tugged me to the closest open seat which was almost the back row. ‘Wow. Living in my swimming bubble made me forget about how many other majors there are in school.’ There was a sea of people.

“Dude, I forgot how many people actually attend school. Look at all of them!” Jeremy said slowly gliding his hand through all the people.

“We really do spend too much time together; I was thinking the same thing,” I laughed.

“So what major are you in?” A girl in front of us had turned around to ask. Her two friends turned with her.

“We are both double majored. I’m Jeremy and I’m majoring swimming and civil engineering. This is George, he is majoring in swimming and physics.” Jeremy strecthed out his hand to the girl who had started the conversation.

‘Thanks Jeremy. Words were stuck in my mouth.’ But I took shook the girl’s hand when she extended it to me. I also nodded a hello to her two other friends.

“My name is Ellen. I’m majoring in Tennis and English. My two friends, Helen pointed to the one on her left, is majoring in only English, and Lisa, on her right, is majoring in civil engineering. Us double majors are in for an awakening. I’ve heard that it is extremely difficult to thrive in both.”

“I will struggle, but this one,” Jeremy thumbed at me, “will have no trouble. Hish school plus swimming was a breeze for him. I’m sure he will be perfectly fine. Me on the other hand will definitely be struggling.”

The three girls looked at me with amazement and wonder. ‘Just a lot of crap coming out of Jeremy’s mouth.’ High school was not a breeze; the swimming part was hard enough, and it was only going to get harder. Thankfully the host appeared and took all of the atention off of me and to the stage.

It was just the normal orientation. Do your work. Do your best. ‘Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Everyone knows all this.’ My mind was now wondering. I looked at the faces around me; they were all beaming with excitement towards their future here at school. My excitment wouldn’t begin until I stepped onto my turf, the deck. Jeremy nudge me bringing my attention back to the stage.

The host was speaking, “We are going to do something different. I would like eveyone to stand up from their seats.” There was a loud thud all all the seats returning to their closed positions. “Good. Now, if you are doing a single major please take a seat.”

Thousands of people sat down around us. Including the two girls we met earlier.

“Now anyone without a sport in their double major take a seat.”

Again several people sat back down. But there were still a huge number of people standing. ‘I wonder which ones are swimmers?’

“Now anyone starting off freshmen year with a GPA lower than 3.0, please take a seat.”

This time Jeremy sat down. He was close to a 3.0 but high school as he said was a struggle. There were now maybe forty people standing. ‘Wow. I didn’t know a 3.0 with a sport was difficult.’

“Wow! There are more students still standing than last year. I don’t want to discredit those of you with a double major of two acedemic subjects; but at our school, doing a sport means your life here at the school, will be much more difficult. Only the strong minded athletes survive. Now…Anyone under a 3.5 GPA please sit.”

Again about half of the students left sat. ‘Great. I wish I could have sat down as well, but there was no way Jeremy would let that slide.’

“I am fully impressed with the number of students still standing. Now…Below a 4.0 GPA please sit.”

I wish I was one of the ones that sat, because now it was only me and three others. My GPA was a 4.25. Hopefully the host doesn’t go any farther.

“Let’s give these students a big round of appluse!” The auditorium erupted with clapping.

I wanted to sit back down, because now all the pairs of eyes in the place were searching and ending on me. ‘I am really not a land person. Stick me in a pool and this would be nothing. Here…I feel so out of place.’

“Let’s welcome these students onto the stage.”

‘Crap.’ I looked down at Jeremy who was no help, because he was almost in a fit of laughter.

“Go on George. You had to be a smarty pants. Go get your reward,” Jeremy said while laughing.

Whatever.’ I started walking to the stage; if I hadn’t Jeremy would have definately made it worse. Eyes were following me as I walked down to the stage. One of the other boys who had been still standing exited his row in front of me. ‘Good. He will go first.’

“Yes. Congratulations you four. You are the highest scored double majored athletes of all the freshmen. You should be proud of your accomplishments in high school. Especially since they will probably fluctuate these next four years,” the host said as we took our place on stage.

I was in the middle of the group. ‘Which is good. Meaning I won’t be going first either way.’

“Now, they will introduce themselves. State your name, sport, other major, and GPA,” the host passed the microphone to the girl closest to them.

I had two people before me.

The first girl confidently grabbed the mic, “My name is Stephine. I am a swimmer. Other major is Mathmatics. And my GPA is 4.15. Thank you,” and she handed the microphone the guy beside her.

‘Swimmer. Cool, I won’t be the only one up here.’ My nerves relaxed a bit.

The next student, “Hello, I am Phillp. I am in Baseball. Other major is Engineering. And my GPA is 4.0. Thank you.”

He passed the mic to me. ‘My turn.’ “Hello. My name is George. I am a swimmer. My other major is Physics. And my GPA is 4.25. Thank you,” and I quickly passed the mic to the guy on my left. ‘I did it. If these people surrounding me were only swimming people I would not look so uncomfortable.’

But after I finished there were gasps and looks of shocks from everyone in the audience below me.

The boy after my was name Jeffory. He was in Gymnastics, other major was Architecture, and his GPA was 4.0 as well. ‘So yes. I was the one to stick out because I had the highest GPA.’ I wish the host people didn’t do this; just label people with something that might not be their focus. ‘I wanted to be know as a swimmer; not an academic student. Can we get off this stage already?’

“Let’s give these students another round of applause as they make their ways back to their seats.”

If I could have walked faster, without looking like I hated the attention I would have. I got to my seat and tried to ignore the hushed whispers and glances.

The host continued to speak, but I couldn’t focus.

“Good job dude,” Jeremy whispered out a chuckle, “it’s only the first day and you are famous.”

I shot Jeremy a look, the kind of look that if you don’t shut it you will die. He got the message and shut his mouth.

“Now go out onto the campus and start your future at College!”

As everyone was gathering up their belongings, I grabbed my backpack and Jeremy and booked it out of there. I didn’t want any more attention. I was feeling suffocated in there. I threw open the doors to bright sunlight and we were off.