For myself

October 31, 2010
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Bounce, bounce, bounce. I squeeze my eyes closed and breath in sharply through my nose. I can feel the bar beneath my right hand. It feels cool against my wet skin. The seconds slow down until each one feels like a million years and all I can feel is the bounce of the board beneath my feet.
Bounce, bounce, bounce. I count our the mili-seconds in my head knowing that I have to go sooner or later. I let out the breath I hadn’t realized I was holding.
“3” my coach shouts from down below.
3 Meters high
3 steps till the end
3 moves
3 people behind me in line.
In the end it’s the people behind me, their breaths coming fast from the fast run up the stairs, that force me to take those 3 steps. I breathe in deaply and let out my breath. I take the first step hesitantly. I’m unsure of this move. I’m not scared of the 3 meters, that was never the problem. I can feel the board bouncing beneath my barefeet. My muscles flexing into the step. My arms swinging in time with the step.
I take the second step. My arms swing in time to the step and my heart beats faster. I’m not scared of the end, or the move. I’m scared though. The bar leaves my hand and I’m alone on the board, the end is near but that’s not why I’m scared.
I take the third step driving my right knee up to form a right angle with my body. My left leg is holding my weight and I can feel my muscles flex in anticipation. My hands are raised into the air, stretched out above me. I swing my arms down and hop onto my two feet. This is it the last move till I’m off the end. But that’s not why I’m scared. Time seems to be slowed down so much that even the splash of the person on the board next to me is slowed. I bend my knees sinking with the board and push off bringing my hands over my head again. As I reach the top of my jump I bend at the waist and tuck my self into the second position.
The 3 meters are disappearing fast. But that’s not what I’m scared of. I straighten out into the final position, the dive. My arms stretched over my head, hands locked together. My stomach tightened beneath my swimsuit and my chin tucked. My legs firm and my toes pointed. I enter the water and feel the cold surround me.
3 Meters high
3 steps till the end
3 moves
3 people behind me in line.
And that’s why I’m scared. I realize as I kick to the surface. I can manage the height and the moves and even the end of that board, but those people scared me. I breake through the surface and swim to the edge, my coach turns to congratulate me on my tuck dive, and I smile. Those three people watching was what had scared me. I was scared of diving with them watching me. I had done it though I had overcame my fears and I had loved every second of it. That’s what diving is about I thought.
It’s about pushing myself as hard as I can and proving myself. But that’s were I was wrong up on that board with those 3 people behind me. It’s not about proving myself to them, it’s about about proving myself, to me.
I pulled myself out of the water and ran up the stairs. And with those steps I replaced my fear of those who watch me with a respect for my ability to dive and myself. I’m not diving for them, if I mess up it’s ok, because, most importantly, I’m diving for myself.
Bounce, bounce, bounce.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Cheekymonkey said...
Jan. 9, 2011 at 10:41 am
this is a really good piece. you do a great job of making the reader feel like they are right there with you.
FunFace replied...
Jan. 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm
Thanks Cmonkey!!
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