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|Thrown Into the Deep End|
July 16, 2015
"Sorry?" Korra replied.
"I said my name is Asami," she quickly replied, messing with her hair in the process and looking around the pool like a crazy person.
"Hey! Don't be nervous! It's okay to be scared, you're new around here!" Korra tried to make things better.
"No, no, no, it's fine. Hey, I don't think I've ever seen you around at school. How come you're here?" Asami tried to change the subject.
"You see, my school doesn't have a pool and the easiest place to find one was here, so... here I am!"
Asami was now breathing normally, but she really liked this girl, she was very nice and seemed like a good person. Asami thought she would ask some questions just out of curiosity.
"So how long have you been coming here?"
"About eight years. Ever since I was eight."
"Are there any more members?"
"Yeah! We have Bolin, who is super strong. He does freestyle. Mako does breaststroke; usually when you're good at that stroke, you're not good at anything else! Mako... is one of those people. Hasook... well, nobody likes him, actually. He does freestyle too, but Bolin does it so much better, he is forced to do backstroke in which he sucks. Yeah, none of them are from your school," she added when she saw Asami trying to figure out who they were.
"Hm, I just figured they would be from my school since --"
"Hello, Republic City Academy's Pool! Bolin, is back!" A muscular young man said.
"Come on, Bolin," another one standing next to him said. "Do you always have to do that?"
"These are Mako and Bolin!" Korra said.
"Yeah, I figured," Asami muttered under her breath.
So as Korra ran up to them to hug them, Asami walked nervously behind. That was, until Bolin went to her.
"Woah, mama! What do we have here? A new member of the team?"
"I am actually here to do a test. To see if I get in," Asami informed them.
"Ooh," the three said.
Korra turned to face them and said, "You know, I must've been here for three minutes with her, and it didn't even occur to me to ask her what she was doing here."
This caused the brothers to roar with laughter. Suddenly, someone older came in.
"All right, everybody. Get in the pool."
"Tenzin!" the trio called out. They ran up to greet him while Asami just stood awkwardly by the edge of the pool wondering whether to put the goggles underneath or the swim cap.
"I see you have met the newest student, Asami," Tenzin said. "You guys go do a 400 over at lane two, while I test her in lane one."
"You got it, Tenzin," Korra said. With that, the three put on their swim caps, goggles, got in the water, and started to do what the coach had told them.
"All right Asami, you excited?" Tenzin inquired.
"No, not really," was what she wanted to say, but of course, she had to be polite. "I am," Asami replied. She put on her swim cap and goggles. She then turned to face Tenzin and asked, "So, what should I do?"
"Eh... you could probably do a 200," he replied.
Wait whuuuut? "I'm sorry? I think I misunderstood," Asami politely replied. Yeah that, or you have no idea what he's talking about.
"Well, look at it this way ... the pool is 25 meters long. A lap would be fifty meters. That makes a 200, four laps." Tenzin replied.
"Ah, all right," Asami replied. And with that, she got into the pool. She swam like she normally did, trying not to go too fast. As she reached the wall, she grabbed, put her feet in front of her and pushed as hard as she could. As she was finishing her first lap, she already felt her breath getting heavier as she began to tire. As she turned around to do another lap, when she reached the other end of the pool, she grabbed out like she was doing, but looked to her right and saw the three teammates swim. They were obviously going much faster than she was; she could tell by just looking. Suddenly, Mako brought his feet out of the water as if doing a flip, placed them on the wall, and with one swift movement, was back out again. Bolin and Korra did the same subsequently, and left Asami looking at them in shock. What's wrong with these kids?. Asami kept on swimming until she finished the four laps. It turns out she finished them at the same time the team did eight.
Asami felt mostly embarrassed. As the test went on, she could see the lane next to her, and the swim team was kicking her ass. They looked like they were going slow, yet they were always arriving before Asami, who was trying desperately to beat them. Why bother? You know you won't make it. As her mind told her to give up, Asami had to tell herself constantly that she wasn't one to give up, and that she would see this through till the end. She looked up at the clock, panting. 6:20. She had been there twenty minutes. Fuck. I thought this would be easy.
"Keep it up, Asami!" Korra said from the next lane.
"Yeah, it's always hard at first but you can do it," Bolin added.
Mako said nothing, so Bolin nudged him.
"Good luck, Asami," he finally said.
"Thanks," Asami answered, but she was almost certain that she would not be accepted. Heck, she might even be expelled from the school because she was so bad. Okay, maybe not that much, but she didn't feel good about the way things were going.
Tenzin put her to do a kicking exercise which would mean the end of her legs for that day. She was to do four 50's kicking as hard as she could. She started out fine, but by the third lap, she wasn't sure she would be able to so the last one.
After kicking, Tenzin thought that a lap of butterfly would be fun to do. It was not. As Asami kicked from the side of the pool, she thought she would do a lot of underwater kicking so that she didn't have to come out of the water too much. However, the last exercise had cancelled the option of any kicking, so she came out of the pool after only five meters of doing so. In butterfly, you have to bring your arms out of the water, bring them in front of you, and pulling yourself forward while kicking. Asami tried to do this, but didn't last long. She somehow managed to get to the other end of the pool, and Tenzin called out to her.
"Asami! When you put your arms into the water, do a kick. Do another one when you are going to push yourself out!"
I guess that makes sense. Asami tried that out, and although it was still hard, it wasn't nearly as hard as the last one was.
"Let's do one last exercise, Asami," Tenzin told her. "This time you will be doing backstroke. Let's see how you do. Do two laps, and we'll see how you're doing with that."
Asami kicked off from the side and started stroking and kicking, repeating until she hit her head on the wall. OOOOWWW!!! She tried to play it cool by only rubbing her head, but she felt terrible. Luckily, it went away quickly.
"Asami, that's why the flags are there," Tenzin explained. "You have to see how many strokes you do before you reach the wall. You should start counting as soon as you see the flags."
"Thanks, Tenzin," Asami said.
She started swimming again and saw that she had to do 4-5 strokes. She noticed that swimming backstroke was pretty relaxing, and that this could be the one stroke that didn't tire her. As she reached the end of the second lap, she stretched out for the wall and stopped, bringing her feet to the bottom of the pool.
"Asami, your training is over," Tenzin told her. "Congratulations. You are in the swim team."
Asami shouldn't have felt happy, but she did. And a lot.
"Awesome!" Korra exclaimed. "It's nice to finally have a girl on the team."
"Yeah! This is incredible," Bolin also said. "It's nice to finally have a hot girl on the team," he said playfully, getting an angry look from Korra even though the latter knew it was a joke.
"Well? Did you find out what it was, Tenzin?" Mako seriously asked. What is with this guy? He's such a dick.
"Yeah what is it?!" Bolin demanded.
Asami stared blankly, not knowing what they were even talking about. Should I get out of the pool? It was clear her mind was elsewhere, but she also kind of wanted to find out what it is.
"Well," Tenzin began. "After a series of tests, I have come to the conclusion that it is definitely backstroke."
A loud roar came from lane two. The team seemed pretty excited, so Asami just smiled.
"What does that mean?" she asked.
"Remember what I told you before you got into the pool?" Korra asked.
You can't forget that, you made a fool of yourself. "Uhm, yes," Asami replied.
"Everyone has a stroke in which they are best at," Bolin added. "Me, freestyle; Mako, breaststroke; Hasook, also freestyle. He didn't come today, but you'll meet him later, he's a nasty dude."
Asami felt there was someone missing, so she asked, "Well, what does Korra do?"
"Korra is a special case," Tenzin began.
"Korra is good at every stroke. She doesn't have a worst," Mako informed her.
"Wooah," Asami said.
"We like to call her the Avatar," Bolin said.
"You like to call her the Avatar," Mako corrected him.
Asami was still with her mouth open. She must be pretty good then.
"Stop it, guys," Korra said, blushing. "You're scaring her."
"Anyway," Bolin said. "What this means is that we finally have a complete relay team."
"But, aren't girls and boys separated?" Asami inquired.
"With all these feminist approaches, swimming is now a sport that combines them both. Now, in relays, there have to be two boys and two girls. We're finally complete," Mako explained.
"Well, I hate to be like this, but Asami, we need to speak with your mother," Tenzin said. "Please get dressed quickly, and we shall inform her that you have made the team and other matters."
"All right," Asami said. She got out, but suddenly felt the weight of her body. Woah, I must be really tired. She felt very worn out, which is weird because she hadn't even felt tired in the pool. What the fuck is wrong with this sport? She waved good-bye to her new teammates, who she really liked. They were just so nice. She then went to the lockers and got dressed.
When she got out, Tenzin was already waiting for her along with her mother.
"How did it go, sweetheart?" her mother asked.
"Everything turned out fine, mom," Asami replied.
"Ma'am, if we could please have a word, that would be great," Tenzin interrupted.
"Oh, of course," Yasuko replied. "How did it go?"
"Well, obviously she isn't as good as the team yet. I decided to accept her, however, as I see a good potential," Tenzin said. "Now, here are a few things you should know. One, is that competitions are approximately once a month. We have them included in the price, so you need not pay more for your daughter to compete. Next is that our first competition will be in about three weeks. Third ... your daughter needs to get some equipment like a snorkel and those kinds of things. Finally, we have a competition at the end of the year. This one is different, however, and will be charged if you decide to place your daughter in."
"Well, how is it different," Asami asked.
"It will be in an Olympic swimming pool and will be hard," Tenzin replied.
"What's so special about an Olympic swimming pool?" Yasuko asked.
"Well for starters, it's fifty meters long," Tenzin informed them. "Now, I hate to be rude, but my students are probably wondering what to do next, so I have got to go. See you on Monday, Asami."
Yasuko put her arm around her daughter, "Weeeeell, how did it go?"
"I guess it was alright," Asami replied.
"Alright then, let's go home," Yasuko said. "Let's see what we'll get for dinner."
As they got inside the car, Asami felt her stomach rumble harder than it had ever done before. It hurt, and she knew that she needed to eat at that moment or she would die. Again, complete exaggeration, but she was starving.
"Mom, can we get a pizza?" Asami asked.
"Yeah, why not?" her mother replied with a grin. "Call the pizza place and order what you want."
Asami called the pizza place and ordered three pizzas. This was more than what was normally ordered. The Sato's usually ordered two pizzas, and still there were left overs. So when they finally got home, an angry Hiroshi was waiting for them. Luckily though, he didn't give Asami too much trouble. Asami thought that this was probably due to how tired she looked, aside from the smell of the pizza, which was tempting enough to distract her overweight father. Once they finally sat down, Asami started shoving slices of pizza into her mouth.
"Asami! What's wrong with you?! You're eating like an animal!" her mother said. "Slow down a little. You look like someone who hasn't eaten in a century."
Yeah, well that's how I feel. "Okay, mom, sorry," Asami replied. She slowed down, but of course, the hunger was still there, so she ended up eating an entire pizza by herself.
Today had been her first day swimming, and Asami could easily say that the day had also been the most tiring of her life. She felt heavy because of the exhaustion and also because she had eaten an entire pizza by herself, but she didn't feel full at all. What the hell? She could say that swimming wasn't half as bad as she thought it would be. She actually enjoyed being a part of something where people liked her, and swimming seemed to have relaxed her a lot.
As she went upstairs, she got ready to go to sleep. Her eyes were already wearing out for the day. She brushed her teeth and was about to get changed, but sleepiness got the better of her as she saw her bed. My beautiful bed. She threw herself onto it and drifted away.
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