Eight To Go

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
The agony of sports.

Submitted: January 11, 2019

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Submitted: January 11, 2019

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“Another morning, another swim practice.” That’s what I was thinking one Monday morning when my alarm clock rudely awoke me at 5:45 in the morning. I stretched out my back until it popped several times and rubbed my eyes until I could feel some moisture in them. They are always dry when I wake up. After I throw on my shabby sweats and put my contact lenses in I brave the elements outside to make the quick walk to the pool. The sun isn’t going to rise for another hour or so and I can see the celestial painting of stars and the moon. It’s not overly cold outside even though I have a sweatshirt on and the slight breeze feels good on my warm skin. The quietness is eerie, it’s like something is telling me it’s too early to be out of bed let alone go to a practice. During the walk to the pool, I keep telling myself I have to do this to help the team to help justify waking up so early.  
I don’t see a soul until I enter the team locker room and greet my teammates Kevin and Loren with a quick look and a mix between a quick ‘hi’ and a grunt. Their eyes look heavy, almost as if they could fall back asleep at any moment. When I grab for my swim suit, I notice that it’s still wet from the previous practice; cramming into a wet Speedo in the morning feels like a frozen plastic bag being pulled over me so I do it quickly and in one motion, a motion I have done countless times during my swimming career.
A blind man could tell when he had entered a pool from the wave of chlorine smell that hits like a brick wall. The water in the pool is calm and serene; like it doesn’t want anyone to ruin its state of serenity. I fill up my water bottle and start stretching which is my stalling mechanism to keep me from having to jump in the pool even if it’s for a minute. Our coach, a heavy-set man that looks like sports would be the last thing he would want to get involved in, tells the swimmers our warm-up, “800 swim, 300, kick, 300, pull.” I decide to back up against the wall to get a running start and jump into the pool to make it as quick and painless as possible like pulling off a Band-aid. I take a few quick steps and jump into the air for what seems to be an eternity and hit the water. The sensation of the cold water rushing past my warm body makes my muscles lock up from the chilly rush. Not only did I have to get out of bed but now I must endure an hour and a half of tiresome work. I have to swim the first length of the pool fast so I can keep warm and acclimate my body to the temperature of the pool quicker. Each completed length is one more length of the pool closer to the end of practice and I think to myself halfway through warm-up, “one practice down, eight to go.”

 


© Copyright 2019 Kent Bonacki. All rights reserved.

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