“On your mark…Set…” tensing, my perfectly primed body, a piston, waiting to explode out and away from its crouched position hanging onto the side of the pool like a barnacle to the hull of a boat at the sound of the start command.
Everything was riding on this, the 4 x 100-meter medley relay, and every single one of my teammates had been trying not to freak out. The visiting team had some exceptionally strong swimmers; lucky for us 1 or 2 of them were a little off their times today. Tied for 1st place, this would be the deciding event.
Backstroke was second in the relay, requiring precise synchronization of muscle and movement, it was my strongest swimming style; the irony never lost on me that while it was the most complex style to effectively execute, it was the only style performed “blind” as swimmers propel themselves towards a destination they will only know they’ve reached when they feel it.
Salted ocean waters or 660,253.09 gallons of chlorinated water, this was my element, flesh and blood buoyant, an amalgamation of mystic proportions, I closed my eyes; the whistle sounded..