Age Is Just a Number - Right?

They say that age is just a number, but I'm having serious doubts today.

I like to say I'm forever a teenager... Today I feel about 160.

Let me share the story. You know there has to be a story.

For some 40-odd years I have been trying to successfully do a front flip off the diving board, and for some 40-odd years I have failed to get past "maybe" landing on my knees and usually on my back.

I almost made it when I was in South Carolina earlier last month visiting my cousin. Look how close I came...




Yeah, no it wasn't even close.

As I said, the best I could do was land on my knees - sorta.

I could never seem to get all the way around. A silly thing I know, but something I've just always wanted to be able to do. You gotta have goals right?

So, I have continued to try and try again...

No matter the pool, no matter the season, if I had the opportunity to try to do a flip I usually would at least give it a try.

When I was in South Carolina it began to dawn on me after all these years that I needed a board with a lot more spring than is ordinarily found at public pools. After all, I was making it around to my knees there, and there had to be a reason (i.e. their board had more spring than usual), so that had to be it. (Hey, what can I say, I've never claimed to be the sharpest tack on the bulletin board.)

Fast forward to last Sunday - we were swimming with some friends from the "nayvorhood," (aka friends who live in the same neighborhood in Powell), and there was a diving board.

It didn't look to have much spring from across the pool, but I knew I would have to check it out at some point - you know, just a dive to see for sure.

"Do your flip. Jim will do a flip."

Netter caught me looking at the board. She knew exactly what I was thinking.

"Nah. I don't need to do that," I said laughing. "I'm gettin' too old for that kinda stuff."

Yeah right Jim.

The board stared at me all day, beckoning. After some time had passed and most of our friends had left I ventured down to you know just take a dive. Bravely I approached the board. One, two steps and...

WOOOOAAAHHH...!!!!!!!

Not only did this thing have spring, I had missed the center point and was now hurtling head first towards the right side of the pool. I quickly corrected, and tucked the dive in just as I felt my feet flipping over my head, thankfully as I was entering the water.

No spring my eye...

Still, I did not immediately attempt the flip. Truthfully, I kinda freaked out a little bit inside. It had been a long time since I felt out of control in the water. I wasn't sure what to make of it.

After a while though I ventured forth. After all, while a tad frightening, the spring in this board held great promise and I did have this lifelong goal to consider.

Carefully, I again mounted the ladder and positioned myself in the center of the board.

One, two...

Tuck... now turning and...

Holy Crap! I made it. I actually made it arou... SPLAT!!!!

I did make it around. I made it so far around that I started turning again - until my head and my right shoulder slammed into the water. (Apparently I always jump a little to the right.)

Slowly I swam to the ladder and got out of the pool. Netter was waiting for me, and even though it was ugly, it was a success. I wanted to know if she saw it.

"A lot springier than you thought huh?!" She said.

"That is hard water!" I exclaimed

We laughed and laughed. One of my friends was watching the dive. He laughed too. I shared the tale with my friends who had left when we met them later for dinner. We all thought it was just hilarious.

Two days later - Man I feel old. My face is okay. My shoulder... Well, I'm having a hard time reaching for my coffee cup, or raising my arm to get things out of the cupboard. I know what a shoulder separation feels like, and folks I think we've got money in the bank. I'm feeling pretty beat up indeed.

But - I accomplished that goal - and it was worth it, worth every ache, worth every one of my "160 years old." Shoulders heal after all.

Now, I just need to work on that landing.

Do you have a lifelong goal?

Tell me your story.

5 comments:

Julie said...

So right now, I can't even think about goals. I'm pretty fried. My short term goal is to get together schedule templates for AV/HFAR. Pretty dang close. Yay me.

But you! YAY YOU!!! (And btw, at the top of your post I was looking at the pictures thinking, "Dude, you aren't getting high enough in the air!") Sometimes meeting your goal is both a happy and sad event. Yes you did your flip and a half, but OW! You are in pain. So sorry about that. Try to be happy with the accomplishment!

Here's another goal you can relate to: I wanted to raise my kids to be happy and good members of society. I'm awfully proud of Becky--she's almost done baking. Calli's coming along nicely (she just needs more time in the oven, so to speak). And I couldn't believe how grown up and mature K was when I saw her at the fair. Although I haven't seen D in ages--she always seems wise, funny, and artistic from your posts. I think we are doing pretty great!

But seeing Becky back from college is kind of sad too. She is so independent and sure of herself--and she doesn't need me as much. Well except for transportation... But we do miss each other and love being together again. And life goes on.

read2akid said...

Nice new look. I usually just read through my reader, and don't open the entire site, but I did today. Very streamlined.

I have pretty much accomplished everything I have set my mind to do. I'm stubborn that way. For the last few years, though, I've had no long term goals. I've been goal-less. I have been asking myself why, and haven't found the answer yet.

Like Julie, I do want to raise 2 children into adulthood who are decent people. I think I'm accomplishing that. Perhaps that is enough of a long term goal right now!

Maybe daily life is just too much to take for me without putting a goal on top of it at this point. Worrying about money and employment sure does take up a lot of energy!

Jim Brochowski said...

Thanks Jul, and read2akid,

I agree that a big focus is on raising our kids to be good productive, decent members of society. But yeah, they do grow old too fast.

It's funny, this was just a silly goal, but I've gotten a ton of props since I posted, and I'm feeling really really proud.

I know... silly.

But a nice break from worrying about money and employment and this and that and the other thing....

read2akid - thanks for the comments on the layout. I just wasn't happy with the old look so I Googled "Free Blog Templates," found a good site and voila... I'm really happy with it. :-)

Cat said...

I'm very proud of you for reaching (and over-reaching) this goal! My goals at the moment are all so freakin' simplified - work a full week, make it through a day w/o needing a nap, blah blah blah. You really are a good storyteller, though, and I thought you deserved a nice comment. :-)

Jim Brochowski said...

Thanks Cat,

I really appreciate the feedback.

I have faith that you will one day be able to accomplish all of those goals and many, many more.

If I can help with anything at all, please let me know.