The First Time I went off the High Dive I remember day after day going to swimming lessons in the summer of 2002 at the Mount Vernon pool. Almost every day I walked by the ladder that seemed to go on forever. I used to sit on the pools edge and watch the older kids do flips and other cool tricks off of the high dive. Many times I had gotten half way up the ladder but couldn't bring myself to go all the way up. For a seven year old going off the high dive was like a right of passage and a way to be seen as "cool" in the eyes of the older kids. Today I will be telling you about the first time a braved the high dive.

It was a rather chilly June morning, when the bus pulled up to the Mount Vernon pool we all ran in and got ready to freeze our butts off in the pool water. Me and a friend got in and immediately we were numb but we had a whole day of lessons ahead so we paddled over to our teacher and lessons began. It was about 10:00 and it was time for our free period when we were allowed to go down the slides, the diving boards, or just swim on our own. Three of my buddies said they were going to go off the high dive, I was too shy to speak up about being afraid.

I knew it was too little too late now I had to face my fears and just jump. We got in line, and it was as if I was in a trans just staring at everyone climb up the ladder and without hesitation jump and plunge into the icy water. Before I knew it I was on deck and I could feel stomach churning a little bit, as if on cue I heard the splash of Sam and knew it was my turn. I grabbed the metal bars and slowly made my way to the top, I felt like I was a mile off the ground and I was shaking from adrenaline and fear. I walked to the end of the board closed my eyes and jumped.I heard the slap before I felt the pain and realized I just did a full out belly flop.

When I finally swam over to the ladder and climbed out soaking wet, shivering, and skin almost as red as my swim suit. My friends ran over and wanted to see if I was okay, It hurt alright but the satisfaction overpowered my stinging skin. After that moment I had gotten back in line at least 10 more times and at the end of the day I was so excited to go home and tell my family about the first time I jumped off the high dive. This event was significant to me because it was the moment I trusted myself nough to do something I know I was really uncomfortable with.

It has meaning now because it taught me that even though sometimes you feel uncomfortable with something, if you push your limits it can turn out to be really fun and enjoyable. It also means that when you push beyond the limits you set for yourself you can get a lot of satisfaction out of yourself and feel really proud. I know that today if I hadn't jumped then under that peer pressure I probably still wouldn't have gone off of a high dive to this day.