The sand is hot beneath my feet as I run, trailing the rest. “Come on Tazmin,” Sir yells, “you got to push yourself.”

If I wanted to be a runner, I would have joined the athletics team. For starters, it’s free and I wouldn’t be a “bursary case” who has to borrow all her gear. I know what I’m good at, and running isn’t it.

“Okay everyone,” Sir shouts, “drop and give me twenty push ups and fifty sit-ups. Go.”

Whistle is blowing, and I’m down, trying to keep my back straight and pump my arms. The boys are totally showing off, doing five on one hand, five on another, until Sir tells them off, asking, “When would you ever pop up on the board one handed.”

Carly and Karin grin at each other and giggle. Their faces already pink-pink-pink, despite wearing hats and suncream. Sir made me wear some too. He always does. “Skin cancer knows no colour,” he tells me anytime I try to protest. But at least I’m hat free. They make my scalp itch.

“Right, now back on your hands and knees, and give me twenty burpees.”

These always make me dizzy. Sir keeps saying they shouldn’t be a problem, they’re basically what we do when we pop up on our boards, but my body begs to differ.

“Okay, lets see some squats. Power 10 and go and on the last one we’re going to hold it.”

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and then the makes us hold that last one for over a minute, my thighs are burning and I want to punch somebody.

“Hold it, keep holding it,” he says, staring at me as if daring me to stand up.

I stare back, refusing to give in.

“Good, good,” he says. Then motions at Carly, “Lead every one in some stretches and balances.”

So we have to stretch and stand like yoga trees and all that. Which is fine. I can stand on one leg all day if that’s what needs to be done. Heck of a lot better than running, that’s for sure. But as I stretch my arm out I catch sight of the time from the watch on my wrist. Gabs.

“Got to go,” I tell Sir, running towards my stuff.

“Hang on,” he says, “we’ve only got a bit more to go.”

“Can’t,” I say, scanning the parking lot. What was I thinking; there are no taxis around.

“Max,” I call out. “Can you –”

“Not a problem,” he says, running up along side me. He looks at Sir. “I’ll be back, make it up after.”

Sir sighs and looks me dead in the eye. “Am I going to see you Saturday? Nobody’s seen that shark since. I think it was a fluke.”

I shake my head. “Sorry. It isn’t the shark, I just can’t make it.”

“Are you going to explain what’s going on?”

I glance at my watch. “Sorry, I really need to –”

“Fine, go,” and the way he says it sends fear down my spine. This is it, he’s going to kick me off the team.


Tell us: Do you think Sir will kick Tazmin off the team?