Growing up in Mantua #6

Mantua pool was my daycare for most summer day and one particular summer my nemesis was the high dive.

While I was not particularly afraid of heights, the thought of crashing into the water at a high rate of speed…that worried me a bit.

I had mastered a flip off the low dive but I could not bring myself to do a flip off the high dive. Carrie was a great and supportive friend for weeks that summer. She tried everything to get me to do that flip. We practiced the flip for hours off the low dive. Slow rolls off the side of the pool. Carrie even resorted to bribery. I loved strawberries and she promised me many pints of strawberries if I would just do that flip off the high dive.

Finally one evening after most kids went home for dinner, I did the flip. I did it! I survived. I did one full revolution and landed in the water with my feet. I was thrilled. I was ready to eat those darn strawberries. But Carrie wasn’t there to see. So I had to run and do it another time to be sure I knew I could execute it again when Carrie was at the pool again. So I immediately ran and got back up on the high dive and did my flip again.

This time, I had a bit too much energy and I would say a bit too much confidence and I over rotated. This second flip finished with a face plant on the water. It wasn’t a complete belly flop but it was pretty darn close.

At that moment I was glad that there were only a few people left at the pool to see my embarrassing smack on the water.

This was the beginning of my springboard diving career. I wouldn’t join the Mantua dive team for a year or two but, even landing on my face, I really liked jumping off the diving board.

Carrie, if you read this… I am still waiting for those strawberries. :)

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