The morning of the Sports 2 challenge dawned as clear as the water in the pool we would start the event in. The water was crystal-clear and we could see all the way down to the teal tiles on the bottom of the pool.
“And this is the pool,” Ashley announced, stating the obvious.
As we followed Ashley and the others to the shallow end, Charlotte squeezed my hand for good luck.
Charlotte was still sick, but she was feeling well enough to cheer me on in Sports 2. She just didn’t feel good enough to actually compete.
“OK, girls,” Ashley said, looking at Jules and I, the swimmers for the first event. “Let’s get this party started!”
Jules and I stepped up to the edge of the pool. Because we were already wearing our swim suits under our clothes, all we had to do was take off our shirts and shorts, and then we were ready to swim.
We took our positions in front of our lanes as Ashley began to count down. “Three . . . Two . . . One . . . GO!” she yelled.
We jumped forward and dove into the pool.
My hands parted the water and I started slicing through it. I pictured Charlotte’s face when I won. She’d be so proud that Tori Lee, her best friend, had won the swimming challenge of Sports 2.
Keeping Charlotte in my mind, I swam alongside Jules, kicking my legs and pumping my arms.
One, two, one two. I used the same trick/habit for swimming that I did for running. One, two, one, two.
When we reached the far end of the pool, Jules was slightly ahead of me.
Go, Tori! I silently screamed at myself.
Jules lost some ground when we turned around, headed back to the shallow end. She swan in a circle as she got ready to do the backstroke, and I ducked under water and pushed off the wall for a boost.
Nearing the finish, we were neck-and-neck.
I could hear Charlotte and Teresa shouting my name, cheering me on, “Go, Tori! Go!!”
Everything seemed to move in slow-motion as Jules and I glided into the shallow end.
With one last burst of energy, I surged ahead of Jules and hit my head on the wall.
I grabbed onto the wall and looked over into the other lane in time to see Jules gracefully bump the wall with her hand.
I had won!
Jules and I got out of the pool and our teammates rushed forward and handed us towels.
“You did it, Tori!” Charlotte exclaimed. She looked exactly like I had pictured her in my mind: blue eyes sparkling, a grin stretched across her face ear-to-ear.
“How close were we?” I asked Charlotte, tugging my shirt over my head.
“So close!” she replied. “Like, inches apart! You beat her right at the end by about seven inches.”
We joined the group surrounding Ashley and waited to hear what the last event of Sports 2 was. Unlike Sports 1, the challenges in Sports 2 changed every week.
“Our last sport in Sports 2 is . . .” Ashley began, ” dodgeball!”
To be continued . . .