We're house-sitting at the Zieglers and they have a pool. And they have a diving board. It's been tempting me since I got here. It's short and low, not so springy. It is a bold reminder of my childhood, my previous failures and now a test: Age vs. remaining athleticism. I may have conquered the fear to learn new things, but do I still have the strength and agility? Do I still have enough will to throw myself into the air? I know I will leap off into a body of water that will catch me. But it has caught me before in failure, which only adds to the sting of defeat.
Up, up, up. Test the spring. Step, down, up. Step, down, up. Hands are swinging. Pulse is racing. Back to the end. Now what do those dives look like? Rehearse in your mind every Olympic diving motion you can remember. Hesistate forward. Back up again. Step, step, down, UP... splash. Not so bad. Pull yourself out on the edge. Swim around again. This is like summers at Flower Hill pool with the Ward's or even that incident at five going off the high dive at Hillandale with Dad. Try again. Back up. Step, down, UP. Down. Surface. The feet came apart. How old am I??
Twenty times. Looking up helps. Looking down at the last moment works too. Throwing your bottom up in the air also helps. My attempts say more about me than my performance. At least now in the privacy of someone else's home at age 25 I can say I tried and succeeded. And it motivates me to try the rest of those new things. Two of them are off the adult list: ballet, check. Pike dive, check.