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Eng- 1 final - Tamar Paltin February 2007 Eng102.ONP1...

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Tamar Paltin February 2007 Eng102.ONP1 Effort Exemplified in Motion Heart pounding, adrenaline surging, blood singing as muscles tense in the moments before the leap. An intensity every swimmer is familiar with exists solely when your feet are on the block, your chin is tucked, and your knuckles are white gripping the cool plastic beneath you. Even the surrounding elements, air and water, are still just before the horn blows and the body explodes into motion. That moment on the block defines the swimmer as it exemplifies and justifies the effort, heart, and unity that exist exclusively in a team of individuals waiting their turn to stand on the block and prove themselves worthy of being a true swimmer. In order for those ten seconds on the block to really matter, I have always had to put in hours of work and effort off deck. Outsiders only ever see the thirty seconds or so of racing when they come to a swim meet, they do not see the five am practices and the hours spent perfecting each stroke that go into each race. Most athletes have to work to improve in their chosen sport, whether that means spending extra time throwing and catching a baseball or dribbling a soccer ball, most however do not have to spend time improving their breathing strategies and toning ever muscles group, even those that seem unobvious. Swimming is considered as much an aerobic activity as a training one, meaning we not only have to increase muscle tone and strength, we also have to improve lung capacity and be sure not to bulk up, less we destroy our all important streamline.
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During the active winter season, a general day in the life of a competitive swimmer often includes waking up at five in the morning, often before the sun is even beginning to appear, to work out. We then have a normal day of classes to complete, like any other student, before jumping back into the water in the afternoon for another intensive workout. This means that every winter, as the sun rises later and sets earlier, I do not get to see the sun unless I longingly gaze out of the heat clouded classroom windows of my school during the day, a very sad state for any human being. Then, after hours of school, swimming, and any other jobs or activities, night finally descends. Most
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