I don’t know what it is that makes me think I can impress people with my pool-based antics. Today at the post-oneplace meeting barbeque I went swimming with a few folks. There was a diving board, so I was able to manage several low difficulty flips and whatnot. The real challenge to my manliness came when Ryan (I know using names is meaningless to most people who don’t know whoever it is that I’m talking about, but it’s better for me to say a name than just say “some dude”) pulled off an impressive one and a half flip ending in a neigh splashless dive. Some masculine impulse within me, concerned only with looking cool even if it cost me my life, compelled me to attempt a double flip…something that hadn’t even occurred to me as a possibility before.
On the first attempt I concentrated on jumping and conveniently forgot to flip, which resulted in me landing roughly on my head and right shoulder, almost dislocating the latter. Always one for trying again, I jumped high and true, but accidentally released my slippery knees. Consequently, instead of rotating like a tight ball, which any physicist will tell you increases rotational velocity, I flopped into the water like a cow that fell out of an airplane. Here’s an artist’s representation. I tried again and again, but each time some startling embarrassment would replace the graceful maneuver I had concocted in my mind. I belly flopped, landed on my thighs, reverse belly flopped onto my back, and managed many other horrible contortions of the human form all while a crowd of onlookers gasped and secretly chuckled at the fleshy slap of Steve against, cruel, cruel water.
My pride is bruised, I have a headache, and I still can’t do any more than a basic flip. I think there’s a lesson in this. Next time I’m only going on the diving board with little kids…they can’t one-up me.