A neighbor gave us some free tickets to Yomiuriland's waterpark so I
took three of the kids yesterday (the other one went off to a track
meet). Most Japanese pools are only slightly deeper than my waist, in
case people can't swim (and so many people never do learn to swim!),
and my kids and their friends never have any chances to actually jump
or dive into the water. This pool had a 5 meter deep diving pool
though, with some low diving boards and a platform about as high as
the old low diving board I remember at our local pool when I was a
People were enjoying taking turns timidly dropping off straight down
into the deep water and building confidence to actually try jumping
or diving. A few fathers (the moms probably didn't want to risk
wrecking their make-up by getting their faces wet) made everybody
(about 70 people standing around watching and or waiting for their
turn) laugh making huge splashes belly flopping off the 2 meter high
platform. The lifeguards supervised well and made sure that each
diver was out of the pool before they let the next person jump.
My daughter N challenged me to go off the platform so I stood in line and waited for a turn. The lower diving boards had shorter lines so I was able to see N and her big sister J jump a few times while I waited. When my turn finally came, the crowd seemed suddenly silent. What was this fat, white haired, foreign grandmotherly person doing up there on the platform in her bright blue swimsuit? N was smirking in anticipation of a big splash.
Did I walk and stand at the edge and drop off feet first? No, I took
two quick but firm steps and a jump and propelled myself up and over
half the pool, flying through the summer sky in a perfect swan dive
(my first in several decades). I heard a big collective "oooooh!" as
I glided splashlessly into the cool, deep pool.
Boy did I show them! :-) The amazed look on N's face was precious.
I think that this makes up for my dismal performance velcro-wall
jumping earlier this year (which she did enjoy though).