Rewind to when I was a kid - I took swimming lessons in the neighborhood, and I always passed with flying colors. Except for the diving. I always failed. I never learned right. It always hurt. It always scared me. Year after year, I would try to dive... but I got more and more scared.
That eventually turned into a phobia. As I grew older, the fear grew with it. Instead of trying and failing like I did as a kid, I just stopped trying. I'd think about it and start getting nervous. I just couldn't do it. The last time I dove into a pool was when my age was a single digit.
Back to last night. Sitting in the hot tub, watching some people dive, I started asking a few people about how to dive. What do I do with my hands? What do I do with my head? How do I not bellyflop? I started getting nervous. Not tonight.
Let's get it over with. I kept thinking I could do it. I could cross it off tonight. They suggested I start on the edge of the pool, then work my way to the blocks, then work my way to the diving board. I crept to the edge of the pool and stared at the water. I couldn't breathe. No way I was diving off the side of the pool. It was going to be one shot. All or nothing. So I decided it was time. And I was going straight for the diving board.
I crept to the edge and looked down. I can do this. That's when everyone in the pool took notice and started chanting my name. My heart started pounding. "YOU'RE NOT HELPING!" I yelled. I took a few deep breaths. Now or never. After a couple of seconds of strategizing... I went for it.
I rose from the water and I couldn't stop shaking... but I did it!