That’s how I won the ‘Triathlete’ Award

Posted on 07. Jun, 2017 by in girls volleyball, high school soccer, LCA News, swimming

triathlete---santa-monica-high-school-studentBy Trina Gratton, LCA junior –

At my first Open House, I sat glumly. I watched with jealousy as three students stood to receive the Triathlete Award while I got no award. I determined to win at least that award the next year.

When I came to Lighthouse Christian Academy in my sophomore year, I came from an all-girls Catholic school in which I had injured myself on the swim team. I coughed up blood, and when I went to the doctor, he said that it was torn cartilage in the rib cage for being too strenuous in my freestyle technique. It was such a painful experience that I had vowed to never do swim again.

volleyball-christian-high-school-santa-monicaI’ve liked volleyball since the sixth grade, so joining the Saints girl’s team was exciting. Volleyball was awesome. I’m pretty good at it. We were fortunate to have Ms. Delores Hively coaching because she arranged a bunch of scrimmages for us (LCA left the league a couple years prior but will return to league competition next year). She coached us at Clover Park and at the beach. We had a blast and beat some teams!

Volleyball was the easiest choice in moving forward towards fulfilling my goal.

But what would the other two sports be? I wanted that award because the recognition was cool. Seeing others achieve always motivates me to go out and conquer. I wouldn’t disappoint myself.

Track was out of the question for me because I tire easily. At least if I played soccer, I could be subbed off, so that’s what I chose.

soccer-santa-monica---I-didn't-like-to-runThe trouble was I had never played soccer before. I didn’t consider myself fast or too coordinated with my feet. In fact, I fell over a couple of times in practice. I don’t think I became a Maradona.

But I did make some good passes in games, and it was nice to feel part of the team. It was like a mini family.

LCA is small, so I felt like I could contribute something. They need all the players they can get. I don’t take any credit for us going to playoffs. But I felt the thrill of being part of the team’s successes.

That was sport #2 in my progress towards the goal. The last one was my dreaded nemesis — swimming. I had sworn to never take it up again. But I didn’t really have another option.

varsity-swim-santa-monicaI had to overcome the fear. I knew that if I started spitting up blood again, I would quit. But I decided to not worry about it and give it my best shot. I also prayed about my rib cage and my knees every night.

Lighthouse encourages us to not fear anything except God. I put it in His hands. I knew I wasn’t going to die because of swimming. I needed to prove myself that I could do this.

My fear of swimming was actually double. One thing was coughing up blood. Another was diving. When you dive wrong, you belly flop, and it hurts your stomach. The last time I dove, I dove wrong. I arched my back and after hitting the water, it stung. It seems like my back has hurt since then.

So at Lighthouse I was nervous to dive. I hadn’t done it in practice. It wasn’t until our first meet that I dove.

I said to myself, “If everyone can do it, so can I.” I didn’t dive too well, but it didn’t hurt. From then on, I kept diving and kept improving. Mr. Jack Mefford pushed me. He kept saying, “If you want to be in the meet, you have to dive.” I figured he was right. I let go of my fears and tried my best.

At the end of swimming, I felt extremely proud of myself because I had a totally different attitude than at the beginning of my sophomore year when I swore I wouldn’t do it anymore. After that last practice when our coach said, “Great season, team,” I realized that I had done it. I had not injured myself. There was nothing to be scared of all along. I realized that all I had to do all along was be dedicated to a goal.

That’s how I won the Triathlete Award.

Then at the award’s ceremony, a funny thing happened. Not only was I a triathlete. I also won the Honor’s Award for a 3.0 GPA. I took this year more seriously than last, and it filled me with satisfaction.

Not one, but two medals! I was really happy that I was able to finish strong.

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