Taking a dive

At 11:30 this morning I found myself doing jumping jacks with a group of 10-year-olds.

If I just finished this story right now, at that sentence, you would probably all be very, very horrified. At the same time, you would be extremely intrigued. Need not worry, there will be no cliff hanger.

I took a diving lesson at my local pool this morning. I did it as an assignment for my newspaper, and I got grouped with a class that comprised half of a dozen 10-year-olds. As a warm-up, we stretched, which included jumping jacks. It was the first time I did jumping jacks since I was in elementary school. And hopefully it will be the last.

Side note — I never realized how much mystique comes with the profession of writing for a newspaper. I’m serious. This evening I was getting a massage (I will get to that later) at a spa, and on the form I had to write down my profession. I put “newspaper reporter” since I’m unsure what the official title would be otherwise, and as I was leaving, two girls at the front desk stopped me and asked “Are you really a newspaper reporter?”

First off, why would I lie about that? If I’m going to lie about my job, I would say I was a doctor, or a professional athlete, or a ninja. But anyway, I said yes and told them what newspaper I worked for. One of them goes, “like Clark Kent?” And I laughed and instantly understood where the mystique comes from. I told them that yes, I am exactly like Clark Kent, and as soon as I leave I am going to go fight crime. And then nothing else happened because I am a pussy.

So getting back to my diving lesson. The funny thing is that I have never, ever dove into water in my life. I’ve never even tried. I’m not a professional swimmer, and I don’t have aspirations to be — so why did I ever need to learn how to dive? I’m more of an “ease yourself into the water step-by-step while wincing and complaining about how cold it is” kind of guy.

I was a little anxious to learn. However, seeing 10-year-olds execute perfect dives with no fear whatsoever eased my nerves a little.

Apparently there is a whole technique and approach to diving. There really is a lot to remember. We practiced off the side of the pool first, and then made our way to the board. On my first try, I was so focused on perfecting the technique that I took about two minutes walking myself through it. Finally, I thought that I was ready.

I took a deep breath, concentrated hard on making the right steps, began my leap at just the right moment, and then when I nailed the technique and got to the edge of the diving board — I totally forgot that I was supposed to actually dive at that point. So I just kind of fell into the water. Not a very good first try.

However, being an apt student, I quickly refocused and tried again. By the end of the lesson, I was executing very respectable dives. And now, for the remainder of my livelihood, I know how to dive into water. Will this skill get me girls? Probably not. But who knows.

At the end of the lesson, there were cookies and pop corn set up at a nearby bench for the class, so I chilled with the 10-year-olds and ate some cookies. I earned that shit.

So it’s been a week of firsts for me. I siphoned a fish tank, dove into a pool, and as I previously mentioned, I got a massage. Don’t ask me why. A massage is always one of those things that you would want at any given time, but never actually go through with going to a spa and getting one. Well, two nights ago, I was experiencing neck pain and felt particularly motivated — so I called up my local Massage Envy and booked a time.

To be honest, it’s amazing how anxious and nervous I was for something that is meant to be the ultimate relaxation therapy. I was worried about tipping, what I would do if I experienced flatulence while on the massage table, and I was worried about whether I would have to maintain a conversation with my masseuse. And most of all, I was worried that my masseuse would be so attractive that — well, you know.

It turned out she wasn’t ugly, but she wasn’t a knock-out either, and I was actually relieved by that. She told me to disrobe to the point where I feel most comfortable, and since I was a newbie, I decided to keep my boxers on. In hindsight, I kind of wish I didn’t. Because it became apparent that she just doesn’t give a crap. She was going all the way up in there even with my boxers on. Of course I never expected anything to go further (you’ve all been thinking it ever since I mentioned the word ‘massage’) but I just think I would have enjoyed it more had I donned my birth uniform. Picture that image, ladies.

Anyway, it was good. It was just a general, one-hour massage, so she didn’t really focus too much one one area, and just made sure to hit up everything. Maybe next time I’ll just ask for a deep-tissue rubdown on my vulnerable areas, like my neck and my back. Or my balls.

If there are any guys out there who feel self-conscious about either calling or setting foot inside of a spa, I say to quell those fears and just go for it. Who the fuck doesn’t want a women putting her hands over your entire body for an hour? It’s like porn, except real.

After all that, though, I am exhausted. So I’m going to sit back for the rest of the night and listen to the new Taylor Swift song on repeat. Because I do things like that.


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