We found ourselves at Fulin’s last night because of a dinnertime power outage at home. As we ate, they were showing competitive diving—possibly Olympics tryouts—on television. Nathan mentioned that the last time he’d been at a pool with a 10M diving platform, they weren’t letting anyone use it. Apparently this is common now; liability concerns.
But when I was 18 years old, they let any schmuck jump off. (Or dive off, I suppose. I never learned to dive.)
Point Mallard‘s not far, but I haven’t been much. Maybe three times ever? One of those trips, just about 27 years ago as I type, I climbed up there and walked off the end of the 10M platform. I didn’t give it a thought. I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t peer over the edge and consider it. I walked calmly from the ladder to the end of the platform and just kept walking.
I don’t remember very much about the trip down except for the sound. The sound was scary, and I hadn’t anticipated it. I learned when I got out that I had hit the water feet first, with my legs about a foot apart.
What I do remember quite vividly is sitting down 12 feet underwater, holding my testicles, and crying.
Kids are so stupid.
I’d been kicked in the nuts before. It hurt. I’d jumped my BMX bicycle over a whoopty-doo and racked myself on that horizontal bar when I landed. It hurt. But I’d never felt anything like this. This was next level.
Fortunately, it occurred to me in time that, severe pain or not, I was going to drown if I didn’t get to the surface. I did, and actually had the foresight to move toward one of the edges as I ascended so I wouldn’t have as far to swim.
Through the laughter last night, I think the boys got the point. Even if there aren’t any 10M platforms lurking, there’s a rock of similar height at Smith Lake that could eventually be tempting.
Boys, don’t do it. If you must, keep your legs together.