The Dive

The Dive

A Story by Blue Notebook
"

This is just a story. Despite being in first person, I did not actually do this. I don't know anyone who has done this. I've never watched anyone do this. I don't even know how to swim. That in mind... How's the story?

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    The moment had come.  After practicing for months, I was finally ready.  I knew I could do it.  I had done it hundreds of times before.  My coach knew I could do it.  He gave me words of encouragement as I walked past him into the hallway.  I was ready.


    As I came to the final door, the strong smell of chlorine hit me like a strong, though not unwelcome, wall.  I paused, took a deep breath, smiled, and pushed the door open.  I did not walk into the room, I strode.  Those first few steps, I was so sure of myself.  I smiled at the audience, waveing to Mom and Dad.  My smile wavered a bit when I realized how many people were actually there.  I felt my confidence began to fade.  Soon I began to imagine all the ways that I could mess up.  By time I got to the bench, I was positively horrified.  I sat, starring at my feet, hopping something would happen and I would not have to do it after all.  Slowly my eyes wandered up, fixing on the high dive.  My stomach jumped.


    I was still staring at the diving board when I felt a hand on my shoulder.  Looking up, I saw my friend’s smiling face. 


    “Nervous?”  Kate asked.  I laughed, not trusting myself to speak.  What had happened to all my confidence? 


    “Don’t worry,” she said, “it’s always this way at your first competition.  You get used to it.”
    “Has any one really messed up?”  I had to know if I would be the first or if there had been others to share my shame.


    “Last year a kid did a belly flop.  No one could stop laughing.  I think they even got it on video!  But I think he did it on purpose and I’m sure you’ll do fine.”  I think she added the last part because she realized it wasn’t helping me much.


    I did not feel like talking.  My nerves were bothering me to much.  I could imagine myself standing up there on the edge of the board, starting this spectacular dive.  Every one would be cheering and clapping, then suddenly, SPLAT!  I hit the water hard, a belly flop.  I’m not sure if I could live with that kind of embarrassment. 


    The audience was clapping.  I looked up in time to see one of my teammates, Sara, climbing out of the water.  The completion had started and I hadn’t even notice.  Worst of all, my team was going first.  My team: that brought another rush of thoughts to mind.  If I completely messed up, I wouldn’t just be embarrassing myself, I would be letting my whole team down!  I felt like I would be sick.  As I watched my other teammates perform their dives, I tried to reassure myself that I would do fine.  I told myself that even if I messed up my team was doing so well that we could still win anyway, this did not really help much.  I tried to remember what my coach had said to me before I came out, but that just reminded me how much they were counting on me. 


    It was Kate’s turn.  I watched her climb the ladder, pausing at the top to take a breath.  As she jumped from the board, I noticed she was a little off balance.  Suddenly I was afraid she would be the one to belly flop, but she managed the dive well enough.  That “well enough” however, cost the team some points.  It was my turn next. 


    My heart thundered as I walked to the ladder.  I knew if I messed up now our team would lose.  I gripped the cold metal rungs, Thoughts of failure rushing through my head.  Rung after rung, up I went.  All too soon, I found myself at the top.  I stood there at the top of the ladder, pool far below me.  I could feel every eye fixed on me.  I was seriously thinking of giving up, not even trying.  The moment seemed to last an eternity.  I was scarred stiff, almost literally.  Then a thought occurred to me.  I might not have any confidence in myself, but didn’t my coach?  Didn’t my teammates?  Wouldn’t not trying be letting them down just as much as trying and failing?  I knew I had to try.


    My eternity of waiting came to an end.  I took two quick steps forward, forcing my weight down on the edge of the board, bending my knees slightly.  I flew up into the air only briefly before gravity took hold, pulling me towards the pool.  I preformed my spinning dive to the best of my ability, forgetting the audience, my team, and my coach.  This dive was for me.

© 2008 Blue Notebook


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Added on June 10, 2008
Last Updated on June 10, 2008

Author

Blue Notebook
Blue Notebook

Itsalen, Miehed



About
Reader, meet writer: I am a notebook, or a journal, and I am blue. This much you could have learned by my name, so I suppose I had better describe myself better. There is nothing very unusual about my.. more..

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A Story by Blue Notebook