I finally pried myself out of the office and got to watch a diving class. I have seen a lot of diving classes, my father coached several national champions, but this one reminded me that it is the single activity that every girl should take. I am a climber, sometimes a kayaker, and I used to be a rider, but diving is the one, and here is why.

Learning a new diving skill is both relatively safe and surprisingly scary. And the best part is that you will never succeed without fully committing; without punching the board hard, throwing yourself aggressively and taking the risk of landing flat. I just watched OletaKate do just that several times trying to get her inward tuck. This is OletaKate’s 5th year at camp and she is a five-star girl, but today she impressed me more than ever before. Before each effort, her face was a study in brain chemistry. You could watch the neurons firing before she would sink the board and begin her dive, and then not quite get it. Her coach, Hunter, would then give the secret clues, “let the board throw you then tuck your knees closer to your chest…” before she would try again. After one near miss, OletaKate asked, “If I get close, can you count it?” Nope, when we get this you’re going to really have it. Twenty-five minutes later OletaKate stuck her first inward tuck.

Diving requires the concentration of a physicist, the aggression of a UFC fighter and the attention to detail of a computer engineer. I am not sure which one of these OletaKate will be, but I can’t wait to find out.

And one last thing; my favorite part of the day. Gabi K. nailed a dive and got one step closer to her silver bar. Hunter told her what she did right and how she can improve next time and she smiled from ear to ear. Then while she was swimming back to the ladder, when she thought that no one was watching, she smiled again.


From This Haven…