Diving Board

When I was a very small child, I took swim­ming lessons at the pub­lic pool. I assume there was some trep­i­da­tion on my part, but learn to swim I sort of did, at the shal­low end of the pool. How­ev­er, as part of the course­work, we had to jump off the div­ing board at the deep end of the pool. I wasn’t very keen on doing that.

In fact, I wouldn’t do it. For day after day I refused to make the leap. See­ing oth­er kids do it and sur­vive [mirac­u­lous­ly] did noth­ing to con­vince me to jump off the board. Hav­ing some­one there to catch me did noth­ing to con­vince me to jump off the board. I end­ed up hav­ing to get bribed into it. I believe the promise was a G.I. Joe of some sort. I also recall try­ing to whee­dle an entire vehi­cle out of the per­son [my grand­fa­ther i think, i was very very young] who was brib­ing me.

I end­ed up jump­ing off the div­ing board, of course. But I think that my point in telling this sto­ry is that from an ear­ly age, I have been either unwill­ing to take risks or unwill­ing to do some­thing that doesn’t have some sort of tan­gi­ble reward. I’m still hes­i­tant to do any­thing risky [most­ly emo­tion­al­ly] unless I’m cer­tain of some sort of pos­i­tive out­come. This is prob­a­bly very self­ish.

6 Replies

  • I was afraid of the div­ing board as a kid too. My thought, though, was that..well, it’s not going to kill me, I just need to do it. So I’D be scared stiff, but force myself to the point of no return and just do it.

    Of course, I have a div­ing board (and my own stu­pid­i­ty) to thank for the scar on my chin.

  • I was always afraid of the high dive and only because I acci­dent­ly did a back buster on it. One of the rea­sons why I lat­er came to pre­fer it, was because I would always hit the bot­tom and get a bet­ter push back to the sur­face. My biggest fear was not mak­ing it back up to the sur­face, that some­how I’d go down and not be able to make it to the top.

  • To be fair Pat,it wasn’t the div­ing board’s fault some kid dared you to walk off of it with your eyes closed. And it wasn’t the div­ing board’s fault that you can’t walk in a straight line and you fell of the side onto the con­crete. Real­ly you should put blame where blame is due…and I think you know where that is!!

  • one, I did blame my own stu­pid­i­ty.
    two, I wasn’t dared. Some­one else was doing it and I thought it would be cool. The idea of nev­er know­ing when that fall was going to come..

  • Well I think you found out that fall came a lot soon­er than you thought it would. And of course there was no splash at the end,only a thud.

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