Throwback Thursday, Diving Edition

I started diving as a 13 year old, taking a break at 14, and coming back at 15. I turned 17 at my first Junior Nationals, and 18 at my last. In 2009 I made finals at my first Senior Nationals and have made appearances at Nationals on off since moving in Iowa in 2010. I’ve represented Iowa ever since, and I’ve actually reached my final college season.

dc07472ba1402bbd4d10781663883e84

2008? Maybe?

A lot has changed since I started diving came to Iowa last year. Overall, I can’t imagine my life without diving. Even now as I sit in my hotel room in Minnesota, at a school where I thought one time was the place for me, it seems so strange to me that tomorrow is my last meet here. Outside of the physicality of diving itself, it has given me more things than I possibly could dreamed of for myself.

I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over Canada, the US, and various parts the world for diving and because of diving. I’ve lived in two of the greatest cities on the continent- Calgary and Iowa City no not biased at all.

I’ve met the greatest friends I will ever have, and will always have. The friendships I have created and developed through this sport will always be the greatest thing I ever received.

The diving community is a small community, and I feel lucky to be a part of it. We support each other, we all know each other, and we love each other.

I know I’ve been struggling to recap my Vietnam experience, because how do I put that into words? But…diving? When I retire, whenever that may be, it won’t even be an experience to write about. It will have been my life. Even now diving has been the last 8 years of my life- that’s not an experience to be recapped or summarized. It even seems funny to say as a blogger/writer, because I always want to go over things and relive them and experience the moments over and over again.

How would you summarize the last 8 years of your life?

This time your late night rant was brought to you by a five hour bus ride.

Advertisements

“Whatever you feel like you should do…”

I’ve never been one to give something a half ass effort. I will jump in, head first, feet first, or belly flopping. While I may not having my mental competitive skills up to par yet (if anyone can teach me how to “visualize” hit me up, I’m starting to think it’s not really a thing), I love to train. In fact over the summer at the Iowa Diving Camps, I said it was my favorite part of the sport when asked. I love putting in the hours, seeing dives change and improve within the span of an hour or a year, love feeling like I really accomplished something by the time I head to bed that night. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always happy about being tired, sore, and constantly busy, but overall I’m more than happy to go to the pool every day. I wouldn’t have it any other way- why else would I be doing it if I didn’t truly enjoy the work I put in.

When it comes to practices, and competitions, I put impossibly decently high expectations on myself. Outside of the pool no one would dare describe me as a perfectionist, but inside the pool, well…guilty. I want to fix problems and I want to fix them right now. So when it comes to a new dive I learned in the late fall, that still isn’t competition ready, old insecurities started echoing in my head. It wasn’t just going poorly, I swore it was getting worse. The little voice in my head was telling me that I might never achieve my goals if I don’t fix it TODAY, and that this ONE dive is going to hold me back from everything else I had learned. Not healthy thinking, I know. I felt the stress of this dive seeping out of me ever since I came back to training in January- obsessively brainstorming ways to “fix” it. I know I had done some in the fall that were high point scoring caliber, and I felt like it had become nearly out of reach to reproduce those performances.

Fast forward to practice this morning, working on the category on 1m.

Todd: “You look like you’re trying really hard”

Me: “Uhhhhh, yeah”

Todd: “Why? You’re strong enough to make it off a concrete stand.”

Me: “I feel like if I don’t give it everything I have, I’m not going to make it. I’m going to land on my back.”

Todd: “Whatever you feel like you should do, do half. However hard you want to try, do less. You get too tense- trying too hard and trying to force it. Let it happen. Relax. Everything you want to put into this dive, cut in half. Try half as hard. Give it half the effort.”

Me: *brows crease in confusion at the thought of doing less*

I’m sure anyone who has ever seen a Disney movie or read a book can predict what happened this afternoon when I attempted the dive for the first time since last week (where I balked 8 times and may have shed tears in the shower because I was sick of smacking). After approaching the 3m with the self talk running through my head filled with “do less,” “try less,” and “40% effort,” I kid you not the dive was easier to make than any other day in my life. The first once even went flying over, with the second and third easily making it around with no balking or feelings of anxiety. Every time I hit the water my thought process was “huh.” Todd got to look proud and say “I told you so.” I’m still slightly confused as to how that worked out, but I’m trying not to question a good thing!.

I feel like I broke the laws of physics. Putting in less effort=better results. Doubting this has a strong chance of success in any other area of life, but will report back if I find ways!