I was too afraid to say anything but, “Yes, ma’am.”The next day we arrived at the swim meet late, missing my group of swimmers in the fifteen/sixteen age group. My coach insisted I be allowed to swim with the next group, the next age older. I could have just as easily crawled out of the gym. I knew she was including me in the race so our long drive would not be wasted, and she had no expectations whatsoever that I would come in
anything but eighth-and only that because there were not nine lanes.
All of a sudden my grandma’s words rang in my head, Quitters never
win and winners never quit, quitters never win andwinners never quit.
SPLASH!
Quitters never win and winners never quit, quitters never win and winners never quit.I was swimming harder than I’d ever swum before. As I drew my right arm back, I noticed I was tied with one person. I assumed we were battling for seventh place and I refused to finish dead last, so I added more kick on the last two hundred yards.
Quitters never win and winners never quit, quitters never win and winners never quit.I hit the wall and looked to the left and to the right for the swimmers who had beat me, but no one was there. They must have gotten out of the water already.
I raised my head to see my coach screaming hysterically. My eyes followed her pointing finger and I couldn’t believe what I saw. The other swimmers had just reached the alfway point of the pool! That
day, at age fifteen, I broke the national seventeen / eighteen-year-old 400-freestyle record. I hung up my honorable mentions and replaced them with a huge trophy. Back at Grandma’s, I laid my head on her lap and told her about our great race.— beliefnet.com (concluded)