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So Many Smaller Endings

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I’m a senior, I have been at Cody High School for 4 years, and I have lived in Cody for 17 years. I’m staring down the barrel at a life I have no experience in. I might talk about my plans for the future sometime down the road, when things are more cemented, but for now I’m going to talk about endings.

We’re not that far into the school year and already things have started to end. Tennis ended in mid-September. Choir’s first concert was last week. I possibly won’t walk onto a tennis court for an established competition ever again in my life. I won’t have another first concert of the year with Synergy.

In an interview with my friend, and last year’s Valedictorian, Kirsten Hull, she said, “Senior year is great, until things you love start ending.” Before she said that I had never thought about how I would react to things ending.

Tennis ending was hard, and that’s probably the activity that I am in that matters the least to me. Swimming and drama are the activities that I most attach my personal identity to. I play tennis (correction: played); I’m not a tennis player. I don’t just swim; I am a swimmer. I like the tennis court, I love the water, and I love the stage. If tennis ending was hard… swimming and drama ending will hit me like a sledgehammer.

Like I said earlier I hadn’t thought of all the smaller endings that come with senior year. I had only thought of the actual school year ending. I had never thought of walking out of the locker room for the last time. I never thought of the final curtain call because before this year, the idea had simply never occurred to me.

For the last eight years when the season ends there has always been another season, until now. Now there isn’t a next season. When I jump off the blocks for the last time this season, that will be it. There won’t be next year to make up for a bad race. I know in the time that it takes for me to hit the water after a start I will want the clock to stop. I will want a time out. I will want to sit in that moment and take everything in. Where everyone is looking, what my coach is yelling, what my teammates are cheering. And for one split second it will feel like I can stop time. Time will slow to a crawl, but that’s not because I’m getting my wish. It’s my brain flooding my body with adrenaline. All I can hope for is that the adrenaline slows the world down just a little more than it usually does.

As a final aside I want to thank my swim coach Jason Koperski, because there is no way I am saying this to his face: I know swimming hasn’t ended yet; I know it hasn’t even started yet. I wanted to say thanks. Thanks for giving me a goal, not only in swimming, but in life. Thanks for pushing me as hard as you did. I hated you in practice, but (so far)I never hated you outside of practice. You have had a massive influence on me. In fact, the more that I think about it, it might not be such a great thing. But thanks regardless Jason.

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So Many Smaller Endings