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Fifty Meters & Fourteen Thousand Thoughts Voices 

Fifty Meters & Fourteen Thousand Thoughts

“On your mark, get set…” the loudspeaker announces. I’m on the starting block, waiting for the signal to tell me to begin the race.

It’s a small race – only fifty meters, but I’m nervous anyway.
I am stronger than my competitors, but I’m anxious none the less.
Family and friends are watching in the crowd. I smile at them, but I’m still jittery.
I think about receiving the gold medal, but I become even more uneasy.

I imagine being in the pool, gliding farther and farther with each stroke. I see myself moving swiftly in the water, each kick bringing me closer to victory. I picture the medal around my neck. I daydream about standing on the podium, everybody watching me in my few minutes of fame.

“What if I don’t win?” I think, horrified.

I begin to wonder what it’ll be like if I don’t win. I try to picture myself, being the last one left in the pool. I’d get out, nobody would clap and I’d disappear into the crowd unnoticed. If I lost there’d be no medal. If I lost, I wouldn’t stand on the podium proudly. If I lost-

My thoughts are interrupted when I realize that the race has begun without me.

I hurry into the water, but mess up my dive.
My goggles stay on, but they fill with water.
I open my eyes, but my vision is blurry.
I achieve the perfect flip turn, but I run out of breath.
I look up as I gasp for air … but I shouldn’t have.
I find out that I have lost the race, but there’s still one lap left.

I think about finishing the competition. “Why should I bother?” I ask myself for a second. I want to give up, but something’s pulling at me to continue. So I let the water out of my goggles, fill my lungs with air and swim recklessly.

I find myself smiling. Never in my life, had I enjoyed swimming more than now.

My hand hits the wall and it becomes official – I have finished last. Still, I hop out of the pool with a smile on my face. To my surprise, my teammates are waiting for me. They give me high-fives, hugs and thumbs-up. They don’t care that I have lost. Neither do I.

I watch the winner receive her medal on the podium, but I do not envy her.
I lost, but I gained more than she did.
She thinks that winning is everything, but I know better.

Written By: Katherine Willcocks

About The Author
Katherine Willcocks Kat has been dabbling in the art of the written word since childhood, dipping her toes in the world of photography every now and then. As a Vanier alumnus who studied in Communications, she explores Spoken Word Poetry, and, of course, journalism.

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