by Usui Brewer
“And they're off!” I heard. I was so filled with nerves. After all, it was my first swim meet. My coach assigned me the 200 backstroke event since it was my best stroke. My entire family was there to watch my brother and me swim. The heat before me had just taken off. I was next up to swim my whole team was counting on me. Nathan my brother comes up to me and says, “You got this.” It was surprising for him to say that. I always looked up to him and how far he has come compared to me. To be fair, I was always in his shadow, more like all of my brothers' shadows, dark and unnoticed. When they do notice me, they brush me off their shoulders like it’s nothing.
It was time for me to get on the block and get ready to start my race to beat my brother and prove to my parents that I was just as strong as him. BEEP! I dove off the block as fast as I could, taking the lead on my first lap. On my second lap, I was now in second place, trying to keep up remembering all the things at stake. I kept pushing on the fourth lap but still could not beat them. I was still in second place. Here comes the last lap. I was so tired, running through all my energy. I stuck a great flip turn and I was off. I slowly saw a thumb sticking out far from me. It was my brother cheering me on. I put forth the last bit of my energy and zoomed by the person who was in second place. I hit the wall right in time. I made it--first place! My brother helped me out of the freezing and icy pool. He congratulated me and at that exact moment, I realized that it’s fine to be a shadow. Whenever it’s my turn it will happen eventually.