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I looked around at the bleachers and spotted mum and my younger brother holding a huge banner with the words ‘You can do it Salman?’ I smiled and waved to them and then turned to look at the Olympic sized pool a few steps away from me. I silently prayed to God to let me win this competition. My entire future depended on it. The swimming scholarship would see me through college and my mother wouldn’t be burdened with more loans. Five years ago, my father had died in a car crash and life was never the same again.

A few minutes were left until the race. I willed myself to let go of any thoughts, any distractions. Right before the big moment I always needed to stay calm. I did not need to remind myself of the college scout who would be noticing my every move or that this would be the only chance I would get to prove myself. It was a do or die situation. For the last one year I had practiced almost every day until the water became a second home for me. I ate only healthy food avoiding junk food like the plague. I knew I had done everything in my capacity to succeed but I knew that wasn’t enough. Anything could happen. In the end a few seconds could make the difference between a champion and a loser.

A shrill whistle sounded signaling participants to take their positions. I felt assured by the silent strength of my well-toned muscles now heavily pumped by adrenaline. At the sound of the next whistle I was in the water surging forward as though my life depended on it. Every stroke had to be perfect, well aligned, finessed. My brain was numb while my body took over working like a well-oiled engine. The subconscious fear that one of the other participants would turn out to be better than me fueled my muscles to work faster. Every now and then my head would bob above the water surface to take in a gasp of breath in my burning lungs.

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Not Failure, but Low Aim Is Crime Paragraph

Through the water bubbles floating around I could make out the wall approaching. The other end of the swimming pool was near. The end was near. It was only a matter of seconds now. My arms and legs seemed to have developed a life of their own; they worked so fast. When I reached the end, I hauled myself out of the water at almost the same time as another competitor. I looked around in confusion, my heart refusing to stop pounding. The loudspeaker crackled an announcement. All I heard was my name followed by a roaring cheer and all I felt was tears forming and immense gratitude for my prayer answered.

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