16, Number 1
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by Schyler Gilmour
Gliding. As I look forward into the endless blue possibility, I feel an inexplicable calm flowing through me. I am underwater. For a fleeting moment, at the beginning, I'm flying.
It's the start of a triathlon. It's hard to believe in these first few moments that soon I will be in the fight of my life. As I come up for my first breath, I switch into competition mode. My mind goes completely blank. I stop hearing or feeling anything except the water around me. The rest of the competition passes in a blur. I can't honestly tell you what goes through my mind in those moments where I'm gasping for breath and jumping on my bike for a 16 km ride, or throwing off my helmet and sprinting out onto the track, because I don't know myself.
As I round the final corner and come to the home stretch, I say to myself "Okay kid, it's now or never." With my last ounce of strength, I sprint to the finish line. I run a good 10 meters beyond the line before I stop. As I realize what just happened, a wonderful feeling of accomplishment creeps over me. I can't help but smile. I have just completed a triathlon, one of the most demanding challenges a fifteen-year-old can put herself through. You have no idea how good that makes me feel. It's the equivalent of discovering you've just been elected President of the United States.
I smile a lot. About a thousand times per day to be exact. To me, there is just too much in the world to be happy about to waste time complaining. And, speaking of wasting time, I never seem to have enough. I've had so many aspirations. I hate closing doors, and so I find it difficult to let go of the idea of being able to do everything. I even planned what I would be when I grew up. The original idea was that I would squeeze at least five occupations into the week and two or more on the weekends. I would've loved to have been an opera singer, a doctor, and a pizza-delivery girl. I was thinking I would join the Foreign Service as well so I would try to squeeze that in between astronaut training and music lessons. This would be before becoming a horse trainer and going to the Olympics. I would then go to law school and become a judge. After that, I would learn about forensics and become a scientist. Later, I would be elected the first female President of the United States and then become an author once I had served my two terms and straightened the country out. I of course hoped to do all of this before I turned 35, afterward I could settle down and have a family.
This doesn't mean I'm never satisfied. On the contrary, I'm ecstatic to be alive. I only wish I had the time to experience everything life has to offer. But I enjoy what I'm doing here and now. I really do live by the old saying, Carpe Diem.
So now you understand that my mind can be a rather hectic place. I don't seem so crazy on the surface (most of the time). I can blend into the background easily but I don't hide. My headmistress in Australia paid me the most wonderful compliment I have ever received: "You never seek to draw attention to yourself, but you are always noticed." This woman was the headmistress of 2000 girls and, out of everyone, she said that about me. I was walking on sunshine all the way home.
Gliding again. It's the beginning of triathlon practice. I had an orange today. It was sunny all day. My brother is visiting us. I just had a great day at school and I won first place in the triathlon yesterday. I don't have much homework and there is a piece of chocolate cake waiting for me at home.
Life doesn't get any better than this.
Schyler Gilmour is a junior at Balboa Academy.
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Oilwatch, It pays to keep the oil in the ground
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Gutman, Saint Pius XII?
Lerner, Obama wouldn't listen to warnings
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Water Heaters ---
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