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Legs, they’re trembling with nervous excitement.
Muffled voices pulse through your head.
You’re moving now
Tense at the edge.
You grip the lip of the block.
Your body shakes with the sound of the start,
You’re already gone.

You slip into the water
Like it’s meant to be. It is.
The rush pulls you.
Through the water you speed.
Your body taking control
Arms, legs, core
Gliding in perfect precision.

You snort something into your airway.
Gasping for air
You leave the perfect world for a flash
Of a second.

Halfway to the T
Marble Seven in view.
Can you make it?

One last breath
And you completely submerge.
Spinning through the bubbles
A hair away from the wall.
You kick.
Hard pressure starts at your feet
It spreads,
Rocketing your body backwards.

A few seconds left. You’re still on fire, but it’s fading.
Your speed is no longer faster
Than your heartbeat.
You kick it in the last few yards
The end is near.

You slam both hands on the wall
Smiling, screaming, laughing,
You pump your fists in the air
As you watch
The other swimmers finish
After you.

Lane Seven Keslee Peterson
Keslee Peterson, 13
Mountain Home, Idaho