The loud blow of a teacher's whistle echoed around the pool area, beginning the event. I watched other girl in the slow lane, Verena (who is actually a year older then me but isn't particularly good at sports anyway), set off at a slow breast stroke. I was itching to dive in too, so when Mrs Reese declared "Go!" to me, my body sprang into action. It was a relief to feel the cold, refreshing water sing over my small body, but I knew I had to start swimming if I had any hope of finishing. Quick as anything, I pulled myself towards the side, gripped the bar with my hands and pushed my feet into the side. I then kicked out and broke into front crawl.
I was soon directly behind Verena, and could feel her feet brushing across my neck and chest. I swam to one side of her in silence, quickly dodging her breaststroke hands.
When we both reached the end of our third length, I asked delicately: "Do you want me to go in front?"
She gave a nod in reply, so I turned to continue the tiresome job I had been told to do.Swimming ten lengths of this wretched pool.
Time passed quickly, and before I knew it I was yanking my navy blue PE a hideous canary yellow vest over my swimming costume in the girls' changing room. Shortly after tugging my trainers into submission, I was dashing down the path to the hard courts, where I had laid my mountain bike.
Another teacher was barking at students who had got on their bikes before putting on their helmets, but I knew better than to stand under his watchful glare. After hearing the familiar click of my helmet's chin strap, I was on my bike an cycling towards the woods.
"Wait for me, Imogen!" came the desperate voice of Verena. I slowed down for a brief moment, until I could see her coming up behind me.
"Race you!" I giggled childishly, as adrenaline took over me and I felt myself radically speed up.
About twenty minutes later, my heart was racing as I wheeled my bike back to the courts. Only one more event to go! Granted, I did have to run sixteen hundred meters, but at least it was partially over. I could hear excited cheers from my friends who were already finished (most had been in relay teams, so weren't doing all three events), spurring me on. I had to do this.
After about five minutes of relentless jogging, I could barely breathe, let alone move any distance. I was about to give in, until my brother gave me hope.
"Stop now Imogen!" she grinned stupidly. "There's no hope! All is lost!"
"Shut up Wilf." I sighed, laughing now.
But, to my surprise, next time I came round the track, Wilf was holding out a small plastic cup. "Take it." he smiled. So I did.
I felt the cool, clear liquid revitalize my cracked lips, filling every bone, vein and artery in my body with refreshing hope as I sprinted the last few meters across the line. I had done it.
Standing on that podium with a bronze medal around my neck made the suffering even more worthwhile.