Day 20 Prompt

For The Spoopy Season Challenge: "Write about the time you felt that you were the best 'you' that you could be."

Initial Thoughts

I had one really cool moment pop into my mind when this question came up and it had to do with a summer camp that I was a counselor at. #LifeguardLifestyle

Lifeguard Training

When I was at this camp, which we'll call Camp Chatawoogie cause it sounds fun, I was going to be a lifeguard who would drive boats and hang with the kids. Living the life as the sun beat down, had a beautiful lake to cool off in, and lots of fun campers running around.

I just had to pass training.

I'd been a lifeguard the summer before and thought "eh, can't be that bad." Showed up and was ready to go. Day 1 comes up and we have to swim 14 laps - there and back.

"I got this" I thought as I hopped into the freezing water. Our coach, a nice woman I'll call Mrs. T, blew her whistle and we (all the other guards training with me) were off! One lap in, feeling good, two down, three passed, four...I'm dying. My heart is racing. Body sweating. I was done.

I got out and Mrs. T looked at me, "That it?"

I was devastated. I couldn't even be a pool lifeguard cause you needed 8 laps to do that. This was the worst day ever.

Training with Friends

Thankfully, Mrs. T said "I'll let you try again tomorrow." To which I thanked her and set out to train in order to be able to do it. I ran with a few guards and ate healthier over the next 24 hours, but because of the weather she pushed it back again.

Monday became Tuesday became Wednesday...

I continued, running again, eating well, training, swimming, studying, getting to know everyone. They all became good friends and kept helping me stay and get into better shape. Day-in day-out, I trained and the weather stayed bad so Mrs. T bumped it back.

Wednesday became Thursday became Friday until...

The day arrived. We could wait no more because I either needed to be reassigned or continue training for the boats and lake. The moment had come.

The Final Swim

I woke up at 7 am for a 7:15 swim. It was still gloomy and freezing but it was now or never. My friends were up too as some were warming up for the day and others coming to support and cheer me on.

"Just remember to do the breast stroke," one said.

"Breathe," said another. "Take your time"

I showed up and Mrs. T was there, clipboard and stopwatch ready to go.

"You ready?" She asked.

"Yeah," I replied.

I hopped in and shivered for a second. It was cold. I looked at the other side and said "you got this Bradley. Only 14 times and you're done."

"Ready. Set. Go!" Mrs. T yelled as everyone cheered and I kicked off the wall.

'Slow and steady, breathe, take your time, breast stroke, breathe, 13 laps to go, 11 laps,' I thought as time slowly passed. 'This is so much easier' I thought after finishing lap 7.

"Just one more," Mrs. T shouted.

'Lol, 7 more,' I thought knowing I was going to be a full guard not a half one.

'Push, push, push,' I thought feeling the air get tighter, and arms grow weak after lap 11. 'You're so close.'

"Go Bradley go! You can do it! You're almost there!"

"Last lap!" Mrs. T yelled again.

'13 down!? One more!! Go Bradley get it,' I screamed in my head.

All the friends who helped, all the fun times to come, all the memories training, late night talks already, and getting to drive a boat. All of these thoughts pushed me onward as I hit the back wall one last time.

'I'm gonna be a lifeguard,' I said as I turned swam back to Mrs. T and my friends. 'This will be a great summer.' I thought as I felt my hand hit the wall. 'I'm a freakin lifeguard.'

What's A Big Moment for you?? Any crazy stories where you overcame the odds? How'd it change your life?? Let me know! And as always,

Thanks for Reading!

-Bradley

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Photo by Will O on Unsplash