I am back here in Darlington to put right something that I did not dare do as a youngster. I was hoping to dive of the top board at Bishop Auckland swimming pool, but that is out of the question, see Thursday’s blog for more info.
So this morning, after a false start on Friday afternoon (my friend couldn’t make it!) I did the next best thing, by going down to the Dolphin Centre, which has a similar set of boards as Bishop Auckland used to have, including the all-important 5m board.
I did a practice dive off the 3m board and then went straight up to the top board. I was hoping that it would now look a lot smaller to me as an adult, and I was planning to march confidently to the end and dive in without hesitation.
But oh dear, it looked just as big and daunting as it did in my childhood days, and there was an element of dithering around on the edge as I plucked up courage. It really was like being a scared child again.
Eventually I launched myself off, and the dive sort of went okay. My top half entered the water okay, but my thighs slapped the water a bit. I think lack of confidence had caused me not to dive at a steep enough angle.
There must have been a bit of a spalsh, because as i climbed out, the lifeguard asked, “Are you okay mate?”
“Yes thanks,” I wheezed. I had only hoped to have to do this once, but I was not happy with my performance, and told my friend Notty that I was going to have to try again to do it properly.
The second time I managed a much more graceful dive. I dived off confidently with no hesitation, and I felt that I entered the water pretty cleanly.
I felt very proud, and very relieved too. Did I go for another try? No way, one successful dive was enough. I had finally done it, and that was enough for me.
Within ten minutes we were across the road in the Boot and Shoe with a pint each. Sunday morning, not even ten thirty in the morning, and the pubs are already busy – good old Darlo!
Goal Number 7 completed! Thanks for your help and encouragement Notty.