Courage, Leaps of Faith, and “Oh Crap! What Just Happened?”

highdive As parents there comes a time when our children do something that is quite unexpected (and outside what we thought of our kids) and leaves us dumbstruck momentarily as our brain tries to register what is was we just saw.  Then we are amazed.

Such was the case of how my youngest son, J.T, got started in competitive diving (I mentioned in a previous post that my sons dive with the promise of more stories to come; this is one of them).

In the past, we typically spent the summers involved in a summer swimming league.  Their last practice of the summer last year was held at one of the local school district pools so they could practice going off of the starting blocks prior to the Divisional Championships (which they won by the way).  I wish the pictures I’ll show here were from that day, but as we go along on this tale, I think you will understand why none exist of the moment.

The local club diving team was also there practicing and our swim coaches daughters also were on the diving team; so after the swim practice Coach told the swimmers that they could go off of the boards if they wanted to.  Naturally, my oldest Cal, was going to jump off of the boards with his friends (although he wouldn’t get involved in diving until this year). J.T is the more cautious of the two being only 8 yrs old at this time.  He had never been off of a diving board before, so wonder of wonders, he decides to go off of the 3m High Board – which he promptly comes over to tell his Mom and I about.  We just said, “Ok J.T. We’ll be watching.”

We figured he would get up there and jump off doing something silly.  He is a big ham at times.  But, he had been watching the dive team kids and the coaches daughters (one of them was around his age) doing the dives, flips, and twists off of the boards and had formulated a plan in his little mind that his mother and I knew nothing about as he ascended the latter.

As he got up onto the board, we were busy trying to get the camera adjusted to catch a snapshot and the other camera to take a video.  We thought he would walk up to the end of the board, stand there for a few seconds to get his courage worked up, wave at us and jump off.  Oh ho ho, how wrong we were.

As were getting the cameras up into position, he all of a sudden walked towards the end of the board, and kept on going. He jumped off of the board and proceeded to do a one and a quarter somersault.  Notice I said one and a quarter. He full frontal body face planted on the surface of the water landing with a resounding smack that echoed across the pool.

Both my wife and I were dumbstruck; stunned into immobility. “Oh crap! What just happened?” I said.  All I could do at that moment was sit there stunned.  I watched J.T. swim to the side of the pool and crawl out.  He was red from the top of his forehead to his waistline.  Still, it wasn’t registering.

It wasn’t until I heard the dive team coach call out to our swim team, “Hey, bring that young man over here!” Then I snapped out of it.  I said, “I better go see if he is alright.”

Well, he went over to meet the dive team coach with me catching up to see if he was alright and to see what the coach wanted.  Turns out, the coach was impressed and wanted to let J.T. try some things out.  He wanted to see if he had the knack for diving.  Well, the rest is history.  J.T. started diving and the coach, he was also the Head Coach for one of the local universities.  If he saw something in J.T. I would be remiss in my duties as a father to not encourage him and let him attempt to pursue if he wanted.

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Now today, J.T. is doing things that I never thought he would.  While he has had some difficulties with a couple of dives (a later story again), he has stuck to it.  His outlook is,,if I can get good enough, that means free college.

I can’t say as I can find any flaw in that logic.

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