Jessica - Los Alamitos, California
Entered on March 10, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe Essay

Spring Junior Olympics, I made it back to finals; as I walked onto the pool deck a gust of chlorine filled air brushed my face like earlier today. However, this time it felt different I felt apart of it and I was going to brush away my competition just like the air brushed me.

I remember the prerace nerves, the butterflies in my stomach, and feeling like throwing up. But when the announcer said, “And in lane five, from Seal Beach Swim Club, Jessica Mosbaugh,” all my friends stood up from the bleachers and screamed at the top of their lungs. I laughed so hard because they looked ridiculous, but it made the nerves subdue. With my adrenalin pumping, my heart racing, I took a deep breath to relieve myself of all the pressure. Before the race started, everyone on the pool deck and in the stands were quiet, as quiet as a praying mantis meditating. The official started us, and as all the competitors dove into the water, everyone in the stands were on their feet: screaming, clapping, cheering, and even video taping this extraordinary race. At the end of the race, I was so exhausted I could barely look up at the score board; I felt like fainting. However, when I did glance up, I got first place and dropped a second off my time. I won my first Junior Olympic gold medal, and was ranked the top swimmer in Southern California. That night was the turning point of my swimming career, I had to step up my game, work harder and not give up.

Now four years later, swimming as a freshman, I made my Sectional cut, and am currently working to drop half a second to get a junior national time. As I swim in practice everyday, I think of the time I won the gold medal. I remember that before the race I had prepared to win, and it was my opportunity to win. Today, as I continue to swim everyday I have to remind myself that success doesn’t come from slacking off and hoping to win. You have to desire and be willing to struggle everyday to become successful.

Now I practice six days a week, sometimes more, and I can’t remember the last workout I missed. I have swam in sixty degree water, tried swimming in a wetsuit, and have even swam in murky water caused by a dead rat in the pipe systems. I swam at those workouts and never complained about the pool conditions; I went to those practices with the mindset to swim and be a champion. Those experiences show my dedication, and how devoted I am to what I love. However other swimmers on my team are focus, together we support one another, push each other and still have fun. I believe you need to have passion in order to earn success. This I Believe.