I always used to admire the Olympic divers. I watched on TV how they stood at the edge of a gigantic diving board, then sprung and jumped, twisting and flipping all the way down. Their acrobatics were amazing. And right as they hit the water, they would be straight as a pencil, barely making a splash. I thought it was cool, and also extremely dangerous. Diving held such a fascination for me. I thought it would be neat, and a little scary to dive on such a board. But I found out pretty soon that diving isn't just dangerous when you're several feet up in the air.
Years back, all four of us kids were sitting on our parents’ bed, watching the Olympics on our old, small box-TV. I was entranced by the divers. Every time one of them took a dive, I would pretend to dive right along with them, jumping up and landing face down—on the bed, of course.
At one point, the thought hit my brain that if I could dive off the bed, I would be even more like my heroes. Each time, I began to brace myself for the jump, looked down, and eventually chickening-out. My sister sitting on the bed next to me, was too involved in keeping a running commentary on the dives, to notice what I was attempting to do. Eventually, there was a commercial break. I sat up and waited. Next time I thought I will do it.
Sure enough, the when the Olympics popped up on the screen again, I stood up. Staring at the diver, I vaguely heard my sister asking what I was doing.
Suddenly, he jumped—
And I jumped with him…over the edge…smacking face first into the floor.
I don’t have to describe the caterwauling that followed—frankly, because I don’t remember too much after the dive. I do remember, to this day, however, is the look on my dad’s face when he heard the full account of my woeful tale. And let me tell you, after that day, I learnt never again to go jumping off of beds face first!