Your Voice: ‘You never know what you can do until you try’
Young triathlete finds the thrill of competition during Community Championships.
Tension spread through the air; each breath feeling plump and heavy as my opponents and I prepared to compete in the triathlon.
This triathlon, a competition between several teams of three, included swimming, running and cycling, with each competitor tackling one of the tasks.
I competed in my first triathlon when I was 9 in Dhahran during the Community Championships.
I was hesitant at first. Generally, in these types of competitions, people train for months, sometimes even years. Many spend their entire lives on one sport for certain contests. People you’re competing with can also be a challenge: it can be awkward competing with friends or family, particularly contending with your best friend! All these thoughts were racing through my mind as I nervously put my name down for it.
On my team of three, I was the biker. The swimmer had participated in several races in the past, so we had high expectations of her. The runner had limited experience, but was slender and athletic. And as the biker, I was worried I wasn’t prepared enough, having trained only two days for the event.
On the day of the triathlon, it was very hot as everyone crowded up at the swimming pool for the start. As the whistle blew, the swimmers dived into the pool swiftly going from lap to lap to reach the tough target of 20.
Our swimmer did extremely well, finishing second, and quickly tagged me. As soon as I felt the cold water on my hand, I sprinted to where my bike stood, and took off like a bullet toward the track. I sped through the biking trail of the peaceful Dhahran roads, making my way uphill with sweat flying from my forehead. My face couldn’t help but smile at the sight of the top of the hill. Stopping to take a breath, I eyed the curvy road leading downhill meeting excitedly. But as I started pedaling downhill, I went so fast that I couldn’t keep up with the pace. Unable to control my handle, I crashed into the wall scraping my wrist and bruising my arm. Lying on the sidewalk embarrassed, I watched the other bikers pass by.
I kept my eyes on the other riders, then realized what would happen if I didn’t complete the trail: I would let down my team, let down my family, and let down myself.
— Veronica Egbe
So I stood up, limped toward my bike, and grabbed it tight using all my strength to haul it up.
When other bikers became confused about where to turn, I saw that as an opportunity to strike! Putting in all my force and might, I raced down the road, making my way to the final turn. I cycled faster than I ever did in my life, and made it to the end of the track tagging our runner who was anxiously waiting for my return.
I hopped off my bike with pride and watched our runner race to the track that awaited victory. Although it was a tough challenge, we were delighted to be on the podium collecting our sparkling bronze medals.
It was this day I really understood my parents’ favorite line: “You never know what you can do until you try.” This was an experience I will never forget.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Veronica Egbe, 10, is a fifth grader at Dhahran Middle School. She is the daughter of Peter Egbe, who works in Drilling and Workover, and Shama Egbe, who works in the Upstream Business Support Department.
Your Voice reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writer, and not necessarily those of the publication.