Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Can Say What I Want Again!

             This is the way I like to imagine that my tucks look. Fat chance!

My dad told me to keep a low profile in terms of Jared and the blog, as Kent (Jared's father)
had made an offhand comment that led him to believe Kent might have read my blog. I had little else to talk about other than Jared, his mission or, more correctly, non-mission, and his new tattoo.
I used the time I might have spend blogging to pursue various athletic activities from my past. I hurdled, I went to the gym and did a little of the gymnastics and tumbling stunts (for lack of a better word; I'm not yet good enough to call what I do a routine, but I'm slowly regaining lost skills.)

Incidentally, I've since learned that neither Kent nor Jared has any knowledge of this blog. Kent kent Kent. Jared Jared Jared. Mormon Mormon Mormon. Mission Mission Mission. Tattoo Tattoo Tattoo.So there! I can say anything about them I want, and they'll never klnow the difference as long as Jared's mother doesn't tell.  I'll be cautious even there, though,  as I know that the mother/son umbilical cord is never fully severed.

My gymnastics instructor was watching me a month or so ago when  I was doing what is now for me a particularly difficult vault but something I would have nailed with ease back in the day.   Something in the height and the manner in which i quickly rotated a quarter turn into a flip indicated to him that I had likely been a diver at some point in my athletic career. He asked about it.  I told him I dove for three years in high school. He told me that an adjunct staff member had been the university's dicing coach before the dicing team was a a casualty of  the major budget cuts that hit the UCs. He said the guy would be interested in watching me dive. Why is a mystery to me, as our school has no diving team.

Regardless, when I went to the gym  to workout, the gymnastics instructor or professor (I don't really know which he is) told me the diving instructor was on the premises. I mentioned not having a swimsuit with me. He looked at my leotard somewhat critically. He was always complaining the a gymnast of my skill level should have higher quality leotards than those I wore. He said that my leotard looked more like a swimsuit than a leotard, and that regardless. it obviously wasn't expensive enough for me to be concerned about the chlorine damaging it. I agreed to meet up with the guy. He called the guy on his cell phone.

I asked the former diving coach to give me about three dives before watching me, as I had not been /on a diving board in about eight months. He chatted with the gymnastics instructor/professor as I took my warm-up dives.  Then I took my first real dive, with the instructor watching.  I went with a backward dive with a twist and two-and-on-half somersaults. I wish I could say it was spectacular, which it most definitely was not, but I did complete the required elements and had a relatively clean landing. he told me to do the same dive again.It was about 75% better. i went with a forward dive to a  pike to a somersault. It was better than my first dive, but not as clean as my second.  Without even looking at the former coach, I headed back to the ladder to repeat the dive, which was much more precise than the first. I did a few miscellaneous not overwhelmingly impressive maneuvers with tucks, pikes, somersaults, then decided to be bold.

I went to the platform, climbed the ladder, approached the end of the platform, and did a handstand facing the water. I then did a combination simultaneous half-somersault and twist.  I actually nailed the thing. I'm still not sure what possessed me to even try it.

As I climbed out of the pool, the gymnastics instructor/professor said, "That's probably enough."

I reached for a towel that the former coach had placed on the handle of the pool ladder.  I dried myself and approached them. "I wish you'd been here ten years ago," the former coach commented.

"Ten years ago I was in third grade," I apologized to him.

"Have you thought about transferring to a school with a diving team?" he asked.

"Not really," I answered.  "My plan is to start medical school the year after next, and I'd lose too many units if I transferred."

He looked down at my leg -- at the site of the now-healed but still lightly-scarred fracture. "How'd that happen?" he asked, pointing at my lower leg.

"Freak hurdling accident three years ago," I said. "Another runner tripped over her hurdle, sent it forward into my lane, and then came down on top of the hurdle as it fell on me."

"Compound fracture?" the former coach asked.

"Yup," I nodded. "Both bones. And my right clavicle, too, though at least that one wasn't compound."

He and the gymnastics guy winced in unison.

"looks like it healed pretty well. Kids' bones tend to heal straighter. And  the scarring is pretty faint. I'm guessing it looked like railroad tracks for the first year," the diving coach commented.

I nodded again, thinking silently, "If it's  so damned faint, how did you notice it so easily?" I'm still quite self-conscious about the scarring.

"If you were just a little younger and a little more muscled, I'd say you had Olympic potential, but it's not very realistic with either your age or build unless you really wanted it. And it doesn't sound like you do."

 "No, I don't. Diving has always been something I did for fun," I told him. "And training for the Olympics doesn't sound like much fun even if i had a chance of making it, which I do not."

"Why don't you sign up for club diving? It's competitive but pretty low-key way. People are out there mostly for fun.  We're already  into the quarter, but I could probably get you on a team," the diving coach  said.

"He runs the league," the gymnastics guy said. "He can put you on any team he wants you on."

"When does this happen?" I asked him.

"Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:00," he replied.

I thought for a moment. "I'll be there," I said to him.

"I'm warning you," he added. "I'm putting you on the worst team. They need all the help they can get."

We said our goodbyes and I headed to my car. I had a blanket in the trunk of my car, which it placed on the seat of my car to protect it from wetness and chlorine.

So I now have a new hobby. I'll probably get swimmer's ear, but there are drugs for that.

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