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On that day of my first dive, there was something secret about the water, although it was clear and emitted the scrubbed-clean smell of bleach and chlorine. I had seen many people dive off this same ledge, and today it was my turn. Without my glasses, the black lane markers were blurry; they looked like slow-moving caterpillars under the rocking motion of the water as people getting in and out of the pool disrupted it. My private swimming teacher, Ann, stood at my side, coaching me.

I tipped back and forth on my right leg until I could balance in a crouched position; the blue flipper on my right foot squeaked against the wet tiles. I looked up and noticed people staring at me in my blue one-piece swimsuit, with my stump hanging stiffly next to my body like a kickstand. I looked back at the water and took a deep breath.

Poster Child, pg 38-39, Emily Rapp

On that day of my first time jumping, there was a nervous voice in my head, although I knew I was ready and had been preparing for this for a while. I had seen many people jump a horse before, and today it was my turn. With all my nerves, my hands were shaky; they couldn’t grip the reins as well as they normally could. My riding trainer, Elizabeth, was watching me, waiting for me to jump.

I sat up straight, making sure I was well balanced on top of the horse; I adjusted my boots in my stirrups and pushed my heels down. I looked to my side and saw my mom and my brother watching me, with my hands still shaking like a nervous wreck. I picked up my canter and went to the jump.



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