Outside I tried to calm my pounding heart and shaking hands as girls walked by, shouting to each other and chanting. I hung back, making small movements of my neck and shoulders while jogging in place. Moments later it was my turn and I went into the steamy crowded room, found my place, and waited for the summons.
Slowly I climbed the starting block. Now there was only my hammering heart and the fear curled in my belly. Eyes closed, I breathed in the welcoming chlorine smell of the pool. “Swimmers take your mark”, bending forward with fingers tightly curled around the bottom of the stand. Then flying, sleek and straight, skimming the water’s surface before beginning to shred it with my arms and legs. I didn’t know what went on around me. My head stayed down, eyes focused on the bottom of the pool. No breath until coming out of the first 25 yards and then only when lungs burned. Now it was the water that churned and my mind was blissfully silent, the fear gone. Now it was good. Now it was easy.
This piece is in response to a RemembeRED prompt: Stephen King says “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”
Write a memoir post – first-person and true – inspired by that statement. Word limit is 300.