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Free «The Elusive Ten» Essay Sample

Markéta, had always a way of calming me down. Her voice had just that calming effect to it. “Just have patience. Do not get too anxious.”She was always advising me. “It’s four wave sets with ten second intervals. Take your time. Do not take the first wave of the set. The third wave looks the best.”.”I am way out of my league,” I exclaimed nervously.”Hey, no worries. Just go out there and have fun.” She encouraged me. The air was filled with wonderful aromas of tropical scents as I sat there waxing my surfboard. I had participated in this event several times. However, this time I was more than ever, determined to win. My heat was up next.

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I stood there clutching my board tight. The waves were larger today. The hurricane brewing out in the Atlantic was having an influence on them, but they were impeccable to the trained eye. ” Up next from Villano Beach, Florida, we have Jaden Nichols in red. He’s a goofy foot who loves charging big waves and has taken the first place for the last two years.” The announcer’s voice cut through the air silencing the crowd. “Surfing against him, is Christopher Toth, a former junior ECSC champion who dropped out of the competitive circuit after a near drowning incident at this very spot just three years ago.”  A long hush came over the beach as the two of us impatiently waited for the signal for the heat to begin. An air horn blared, and we sprinted into the water trying to utilize every second available. We leapt onto our boards paddling as hard as possible and dove beneath crashing waves to get out to the lineup. Having the inside line gave me the advantage catching the first wave of the heat. As I began to drop in, the familiar flashback ran through my mind causing me to back out. I could see myself dropping in on the wave, then everything going wrong. It began with the wipeout and ended with my head smashing into an underwater rock knocking me unconscious.  

“Shoot, I should have gone. That would have opened up perfectly,” I bellowed, expressing my anger towards myself. There was not much time to reflect as the next set was on its way, perfect and begging to be ridden. I set the rail, made the drop, and the wave set up impeccably with a gorgeous barrel. However, this wave was not as impeccable as the previous one. The barrel closed quickly, and the wave crashed down on top of me, pushing me under with little air to endure a lengthy stay. When I started swimming upward, a jerk on my ankle held me down.  The leash was jammed, and I was quickly running out of air. The underwater current was thrashing my body around like a ragdoll. In desperation, I stretched to unhook my ankle from the strap binding me.  Besieged for air, I surfaced gasping.

“Grab my hand!”  The lifeguard on the Jet Ski shouted while hurtling towards me. I extended my arm upward as he grasped it, swinging me around to the attached tow board.   “Hang on.” Holding on snug to the board, we sped to shore where I could get medical assistance.  

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“Are you alright?” Markéta had a panicky tone to her voice. She look as if she were about to cry.

“Just give us a moment,” the lifeguards exclaimed while moving her away to examine me.

“Look I can’t talk you into going back out there.” Markéta was perceptibly shaken up from the incident, but she was reassuring as always. “It seems crazy. I know how good you are, and I know how much this means to you. I just do not want you to spend your life wondering what could have happened.”

Markéta’s words invigorated me, and I seized another board to head back out. As I paddled out, I caught glimpses of Jaden laying down runs worthy of the top spot. As I sat off to the side with the idea of the second near drowning passing through my mind.  Jaden paddled over, fatigued.

 
 
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“What are you doing? Are you going to take a wave, or you are just going to sit there like a buoy?” I sat in awkward stillness. “Look, you’re never going to catch a wave sitting all the way over here. Why don’t you follow me over here, and we’ll get you into one. Give the crowd something to cheer about. Let’s get you a wave. Come on. Follow me into the lineup, and I’m going to tell you to go on a wave. Now, when I tell you to go, you got to go. You have to paddle you heart out. You cannot hesitate. You can’t pull back. No fear. If you hold back for a second, you’re going to eat it.”

Paddling back to the lineup, a set of waves began to approach. “There’s this one. Go! Paddle!”   I dropped in and set up without a glitch. That instant was short-lived as I started to airdrop. I dove in to bail out. There was a big error on my part as my shoulder recoiled off a rock underneath. The pain resonated through me like salt on an open wound, but, ignoring the throbbing, I surfaced.

“Are you alright?”  The lifeguard questioned.     

“I’m okay. I’m okay.”

“Okay, get back out there then.” The two minute horn shrieked as I turned to paddle back to the lineup.

“Ouch. Are you alright? That was nasty.” Jaden said, sounding concerned.  

“It’s okay. I want another one.” I was determined to put up a score worthy of my efforts. 

“You want another one? That is the spirit. Shake off that last wave and let us do this. Feel that adrenaline in you. Use it. Come on.” We turned to look up and saw the best set of the whole day. The lines were sky high.  “That’s the set. This is the one. This is the one right here. Alright, come on. Come on! Go, go!”

            Paddling hard, I was able to catch the wave. As I dropped in, I had a feeling that this was going to be the one. Everything was flawless. The barrel formed as I entered and I sped along. I shot the pipe to the sound of the crowd cheering on the beach. The judges scored it with unanimous tens, but it was not enough to move into the next round.  

Markéta came sprinting down the beach toward me and leaped into my arms. “That was so amazing. She said. Are you okay?” 

“Yeah,” I answered trying to catch my breath. She was proud of me. Finally I had made it, thanks to Marketa, Jaden and my determination. With focus, strength and motivation to keep on trying, one can always overcome any stumbling block to his success.

   

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