Monday, 24 September 2012

Don't hit yourself in the face, Melissa

I am a person that needs accountability. When I take on a new venture, I will often tell as many people as possible so I will feel like I need to follow through. I do this quite often when I am trying to eat healthier, or exercise more - if everyone knows I have vowed to stop eating fried foods, I certainly can't order those nachos- I can't let my peeps down!

This is one reason why I made my list of things I wanted to accomplish this year public to the blogosphere, and certainly a reason why I was so vocal about my most recent adventure- My attempt to cross of #12: Jump off 30 ft diving board at Kinsmen Swimming Pool

My dear friends... I have let you down. Please allow me to explain

First of all, I don't jump off of ANY diving boards. When I'm at the pool I prefer to stick to the hot tub, but even when Chris lures me into the big pool, I decline the diving board every time. The one that is so close to the water that you could bounce really hard and touch it with the tip of the board? I don't even go on that one. I rarely even jump off the edge of the pool.

So why, you may ask, did I aspire to jump off the highest board? Well, that is still a mystery to me. I suppose because I know I'm not afraid of heights. Chris and I have been bungee jumping (Our second date) as well as skydiving. 30 feet seems quite piddly in comparison to 12 500, no? here's the difference though - With bungee jumping, there is no impact whatsoever, and with skydiving if all goes according to plans, it is quite minimal. Even when all goes according to plans, when you jump off a diving board you are still hitting something with quite a bit of force. The unknown of what happens when you hit, is what terrifies me.

So I started with the smallest board I could, just to get my feet wet (Oh, I'm so punny!) I wanted to practice my "jump in pencil straight" strategies. See, when you jump from 30 ft it is very important to go in a straight as possible with no extremities sticking out. I'm told the results could be quite painful otherwise.

So I jump. Arms stuck to my sides, toes pointed. And water went all up my nose. Yuck. I hate that. Now at this point I know I need to go higher to work up my courage, so I plant myself on the lowest of these 4 boards. Well, they're more like giant, intimidating platforms, but that's beside the point.

 I'm 2.5 meters up (8.2 feet) and fear sets in. This is definitely the highest I've jumped from since I was a kid. This time I plug my nose (keeping my arm as close to my body as possible) with my other arm glued to my side. I jump. Point my toes.... and it's perfect! Woo hoo! First board conquered.

I'm feeling good. Confident. I'm pretty sure I can do this... but I'm still worried I can't plug my nose from the top board. When I ask the lifeguard.... well that's where this story goes downhill. To make a long story short, he explains to me how terrified he is of diving boards, and strongly advises against jumping from the top with any other body posture than "straight as a pencil"  Oh, and he also tells me that when jumping from the highest board you are hitting the water going 60 km/hr. And then he compares it to driving a car that fast (Like my mind didn't go there instantly????) He suggests I jump from the next highest and see how I do with my nose plugged.

And so I go up there... this time I'm 5 meters above the water (16.4 feet) and again I'm terrified. I have the confidence from my last jump pushing me through my fear though, and so I plug my nose, point my toes, and.... OW.

This is going to make you laugh, I promise.

When I hit the water, the force hits my elbow, pushing my hand (which is in fist form) up just above my right eye. To put it quite simply, I punched myself in the forehead. And it hurt. To make matters worse, I got water up my nose again. I really really hate that!!

There ended my diving boards experience. I was pretty much done at that point.

I'm not sure why I aspired to jump off such a high diving board, but I certainly don't regret setting such a high goal. Benjamin Mays says “The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not disgrace to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim, is a sin.”

So I'm just going to keep on dreaming. And perhaps remember that I hate jumping into water when making my list for next year.

I'll leave you with a couple pictures from the picnic that Chris and I took on Saturday afternoon, just before going to the pool. At least I was able to cross one thing off my list that day! (#22: Go on an actual picnic in the park)


We set up in Emily Murphy Park- it was close to the pool, and was quite nice. Does anyone out there have a favorite picnic spot they'd like to share? Hidden gems around St. Albert or Edmonton?

All my favorite foods, courtesy of the Grapevine Deli: A couple different cheeses (5 year aged cheddar and gouda) and meats, a baguette, dolmades with tatziki and feta stuffed peppers. Only thing missing was the olives, and maybe one of those giant pickles.

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