Big mistake!

Last week I went to a club swimming competition.
It was there I made my big mistake!

It was a fun event,
with the over nineteen masters section,
and teenagers entered.
I arrived there to show support,
to the teens I teach,
and also to enjoy a bit of fun.

As I watched everyone compete,small__4884983020 (1)
I slowly began to remember.
The thrill as the whistle blows,
the rush of adrenaline,
The drive to win,
regardless of the pain you are feeling.

In a moment of madness,
Without thinking things through,
I borrowed togs, cap and goggles,
and lined up ready to compete.

In hindsight I wonder.
What on earth was I thinking?
I should be on medication.

For those who do not know,
I am the head teacher at this club.
My swim would not go unnoticed.
Many of my swimmers were present,
and their parents.

As I stood there waiting,
I began to see the potential for disaster.
Those diving blocks were high up.
Kids I taught to dive were watching.
I looked up the pool to the other end.
It was quite some time since I had tumbled.

I began to seriously regret my decision.
But it was too late.
My race was approaching.

As I walked over to my lane,
I was aware of the shouting.
Small kids were pointing.

The whistle blew.
I stood on the blocks,
“Take your marks”.

I bent down and could not believe,
that my feet were so far away.
Take your marks is a position
that would fit well in a yoga class!
The whistle blew,
and in we dived.
I could feel the water gush by me.
I felt the air being knocked out of me.
Oh dear, I never remember the dive feeling like that.

However kids were watching.
No breathing for the first half length I tell them.
So I had to keep my head down,
arms and legs flying,
hoping I would not black out!
Gasp! I catch my first breath,
and it was then I saw her.
My competitor!
I did not care who she was,
I wanted to win.

So I raced for all I was worth.
I kept my head down,
and tried to keep out the,
“help I think I am dying” thoughts.
Instead I tried the,
“win, win, win,” thoughts.
Time for the turn.
No worries it was all about getting ahead.

As I headed down the final length,
I began to struggle.
Arms and legs were on fire,
but the end was near.
Head down, inwardly exploding,
I kicked and pulled for all I was worth.
I looked over and yes I had beaten her.

As I climbed out I was delighted,
I was the winner.
In my euphoric state I asked the timekeepers,
“What time did I do?”.
When they told me, I was sure I must have misheard.
“Sorry?” I asked.
They repeated the same time.
It was then I fell back to earth.
I, who had swam so hard,
using every ounce of energy I possessed,
had swam an embarrassingly slow race.

I walked away on my wobbly legs,
glad to be on dry land.
The urge to compete well gone.
I felt old.
As I looked around at the young and the fast,small_121057021
I realized I had made a mistake.

I had forgotten,
that I was no longer a young fit swimmer,
I had not even been training!
My best swimming days were over.
It was time to move on.
And that is exactly what I did.
I moved on with my fellow competitors,
to a lively location,
where I made one last mistake,
I forgot to come home early!

photo credit: jechstra via photopin cc

photo credit: Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL) via photopin cc

23 thoughts on “Big mistake!

  1. You still taught yourself and your students something about life. That you are willing to do what you teach. And guess what? They will talk about this for a long time, which means that others will be inspired. Is that not what teaching is about?

    1. Your right, and they were so delighted to see me compete. Despite what I wrote I actually did quite enjoy the experience, and was delighted I took the challenge.

        1. No. I am feeling most annoyed actually. I am reading all about others appreciating their mum and what did I get today? Nothing. I made the dinner and did all the usual. I tried to tell my gang that I was worthy of a second day of “honoring” but they told me where to go!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. After our few scoops I once again believed I was amazing! Re living it in this post brought me back to reality.

  2. Good for you! I still play basketball in the “over 21” league (I of course can double that requirement)… happy to say I made it through the season without breaking anything – yes that was my goal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Not sure why my previous comment disappeared. You’ve my respect! If you were my swim coach I’d been really impressed that you actually competed 🙂

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