To Be Blocked

Kaia Taylor, age 13
To Be Blocked

“Diving off a racing block into a swimming pool. The anxiety – would I mess up? Would my goggles fall down?”

Diving off a racing block into a swimming pool. The anxiety – would I mess up? Would my goggles fall down? Would I publicly humiliate myself in front of my teammates? The swirl of thoughts going through my mind was endless. Water dripped off my back. I glanced behind me to see the other teammates giving me looks of encouragement. Glancing forward again, I saw the clear blue water with tiled lines in the middle of the lane. The clock ticked on as the person before me started heading back across the pool. I had to get ready. I adjusted my goggles onto my eyes and put my hands on the block. My teammate behind me was going to tell me to go so I went at the right moment. 

The dive itself was decent. My goggles luckily didn’t fall down, and I was able to gain some speed to push my team to second place. As my teammates high-fived me when I got out of the pool, I realized something. I wasn’t scared of messing up the dive itself. Well, I was, but the main reason was because I didn’t want to disappoint my teammates. Whenever a team doesn’t win, people want a reason. Someone to blame. I did not want to be that person. I didn’t want that responsibility of not winning to be placed on me. In the end, after the last person swam, we didn’t even win. Which was okay. At least it wasn’t my fault. But even if it was, it couldn’t be that bad, could it? My goggles would fall down. We would lose. No one would talk about the race to my face. They would have talked about it while I was swimming. List all things that I did wrong. Talk about me negatively. And the worst part is, when I came out, they wouldn’t say anything to me. But even if that did happen, I would survive. It would be fine. I would keep practicing and get better at my dive. And I wouldn’t be so nervous knowing the possibilities of what would happen. And it most likely will happen. Sometime in the future, once, if not many times.

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