Saturday, December 27, 2014

It's 12/14 - I Remember Rachel all Month!

Rachel was a swimmer. She worked incredibly hard and increased her skill level each year she was on the Orem High School Swim Team.

Her forte wasn't speed. It was endurance. Like her older brothers, Mark and Carl, who swam for Orem High before she did, she decided to make the most of her talent for persistence and hard work. She choose to swim the longest race in a high school meet, the 500 yard freestyle. This involved so many times swimming from side to side of the pool and flip turning each time, that team members held a sign under the water to remind the swimmer how many laps they had left.

When Rachel was a junior in high school, 16 years old, she had a day towards the first of the season that was memorable. It inspired some writing, probably done for a school assignment, but preserved, as was so much of those years, in the scrapbooks she created. Here is what she wrote about the day

Rachel at an Orem High swim meet
On October 14, 1992 it was the inner-squad swim meet, blue against gold. I was on the blue team and Bethany and Jared were our captains. I was in the first race, the 200 yard relay medley. I swam fifty fly and I did pretty good too. The next race for me was the 100 yard butterfly, after the diving competition. I was so scared. I had never swam a 100 fly before. And not only that, I had to swim the 500 free right after the 100 fly race. The diving just ended and Dan [my coach] called “first call for 100 fly.”
I was really nervous. “Swimmers on the blocks,” Arlene [assistant coach] called. Then, “Swimmers on your marks.”  BUZZ, the buzzer went off. I took a flying leap. Splash into the water automatically. My hips start going up and down, starting the dolphin kick. I surface on the top of the water. I take my first stroke. My hands came out and over my head. I take my first breath. I started a pace that I could keep for the whole hundred. Slam! I got to the first wall with only a 75 [yard distance] left; “remember to hit the wall fast,” I thought. 
I got to the other side. “Pretty good so far.” I reach out to hit the pad and I slammed it off the wall. “Great,” I thought, and the push off the wall was no good. I am only half-way through. “I can do it,” is what I assure myself. I reach the other side again. Only a 25 left. “Pick up your speed, Rachel!” I told myself. My hands were in place. Only one more kick and I would be done. Wham! I surfaced.
Everyone was screaming. Dan was yelling and jumping up and down. I had swam the 100 yards in 1:18! I was so happy. I got out and cooled down, then went and gave my coach Dan a hug. I was happy, but the meet wasn’t over. I still had the 500 and the relay left. The 500 was the next race. All I wanted to do was finish that race. I was so dead from the 100 fly that I really didn’t expect to get my best time. But I did! 
My parents were in the stands so I went up there and was talking to them. Bethany yelled at me to come down. I was supposed to swim in the 200 free relay. They had redone the relay line-up and forgot to tell me. I ran down the stairs and ran to lane six and jumped in and swam my fastest 50 free time.

It was a great day.
Maybe I, like Rachel, can write about just one day, a memorable day, and it will help others to remember me and know me better. (

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