Ethan’s Escapades: Diving

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Recently, the offer for the swim team members to go and pursue diving as an extra activity was put up for grabs. I thought to myself “Ok. No problem. I’ll try it and see if I can manage,” and that was that.

The first practice was okay, kind of uneventful. I am completely new to the experience, which of course placed me in with the 3rd to 6th graders…who happened to be at the same skill level as me.  As far as I know, the whole purpose for that was to go over basic skills and for the coaches to try to map out our coordination, etc.

That wasn’t a problem.  Honestly, it was an easy and not very stressful way to see what was to come and adjust to the differences from swim.

Then came my second practice.  Previously, they had me up on the one meter springboard practicing basic stuff with little kids. Nope, none of that anymore.  This time they put me on the three meter springboard with people my age who have been doing this for anywhere around two years to their whole lives.

But before I get more into that, let me point something out:  Three meters is almost the equivalent to ten feet. You’re jumping off a springboard which can easily catapult you way over five feet into the air. So, overall, three meters escalates into well over 15 feet… into the air… over water.

I obviously was not prepared for what was to come. They started off by making me role up into a ball with my butt half hanging off of the end of the board. Then, I was to slowly role forward, fall off the board, and then at the coach’s discretion, pop out into a diving position. Repeat.

Then, they had me try to perform an actual dive.  Proudly, I can say that my first one was at least at the caliber of someone who had been diving for, say, three months. Sadly, that was my limit and for the rest of the night gravity had control over me.

I jumped back up on the board expecting that every time I flung into the air that I would be rewarded with a more superior dive than the last. I stood on the board, concentrated for what I had to do next, made my way to the front of the board.

I jumped, folded into a pike, started to unfold, and brought my legs back WAY too far. I started somersaulting mid air and hit the water on my right side, sending a numbing-then-burning situation through my limbs.

When I breached the surface of the water, I was greeted by the shocked faces of all the parents.

The night continued in this pattern. At one point, I decided that I would roll onto my right shoulder to avoid another blow to my side.  Because of that decision, it was critical that before I went to bed that night, I took quite a large amount of muscle relaxers.

I shall continue into the future, but if I ever arrive at school donning a black eye or a bruised shoulder, no, I did not get into a brawl with someone in the courtyard after school. I got beat up by a man made body of water.

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