The equation is simple:
Kids or teen = reckless creatures
And my friends and I were that way.
We used to climb up very high rocks and jump into the blue sea, in the beautiful Portovenere. Actually the path to get to the top was pretty tough: it was risky and dangerous, you could not miss any move otherwise you could fall down; and down you could find the sea if you were lucky, other rocks if you were not.
I don’t even dare to think that my kids could do the same in a few years!
The thing is that as soon as we got up the rock, notwithstanding our reckless nature, we froze and we immediately started to be generous and kind each other: “please, it is your turn, I would never try to overcome you…”. Well, we could spend hours in a precarious balance at 14-15 meters on the sea.
Then, at your turn, you took a glance at the sea, (very) down there: you said yourself that it was your turn and that it was time to go; but you wanted to assure yourself again and you took another look at the sea ….. yes, it was very far from where you were….and you stepped back one more time…
I can still feel that little fear mixed with the excitement for the craziness!
By the way, they were our summer holidays and we had all the time we wanted (or we needed…).
When the magic moment arrived, you jumped and it was a kind of flight, something unforgettable.
There is also a second equation:
Grown boys (i.e. men in their forties 🙂 ) = not reckless creatures
If a reckless creature could spend a looong time on a rock before finding the bravery to jump, what could happen to a grown boy???
Here is what actually could happen….
“Daddyyyy!!!!!! DaddyyyyYY!!!! What about going to the swimming pool today???????? It’s fantastic!!!!! There is a slide (you must be careful and read all the signs describing the rules), there is the whirlpool, there are also many floating toys you can jump on!! It is awesome, isn’t it?!?!?! And guess what??? You can also dive from the diving boards! There are three different heights! Please, say Yes!!!!……yes?”
How could I say No?
We went to the swimming pool: so far from the Italian model….but this would be a subject for another post….
So, we went there and we enjoyed it so much. The three diving boards were exactly as my two kids described. What my two little creatures forgot to mention was the rule.
If you want to dive from the two lower boards, just look down and if it is clear you can go.
The highest board is different.
It is closed, by default. When it opens, the lifeguard closes the other two.
You stay in line….
In line, the 70% of the people are kids….
When it’s your turn, you climb up (ok, it is much simpler than the path to the rocks), you get to the top and…… the lifeguard W H I S T L E S …. meaning that
Y O U M U S T I M M E D I A T E L Y J U M P !!!
I spent all my time in line to think about the strategy.
For sure, I had to jump right after the whistle. For two reasons.
First, we are in Denmark and people here are expected to strictly follow the rule.
Second, but probably even more important, my two kids were many meters below me, watching me, recording every step I was doing in their young brain (that seems to have limitless capacity and persistent memory….), having already seen all those small creatures jumping and falling down with a big smile in their faces.
I could go up and hope that the whistle broke in that very moment: the engineer part of myself took the floor and reminded me some basic of statistics, and this option was cancelled….
I could take time pretending to lace my shoes, as someone does before shooting his free throws in basketball matches, just to get a few more particles of oxygen…. But unfortunately I had no shoes….
I could leave the line pretending a sudden pain at anything in my body……but my two kids are too smart….
In the meanwhile, my turn arrived and while climbing up I decided my strategy: just go up, don’t look down for any reason, wait the whistle and jump.
Simple, isn’t it?
I got to the top and the human curiosity brought me to take a very quick glance at the bottom: the transparent water of the swimming pool let me see the bottom floor, which gave me the perception of 4 more meters in the height….
The lifeguard whistled. Full stop. No other option: jump, next please.
I hesitated just for one second and then I jumped.
It was as if someone wiped my fear and pushed me from the back. It was almost a surprise for me: if I could have bet on this in advance, I would not have bet.
In a timeframe of big challenges, it represented just a small one, but with a good impact on my ego J
Today the challenges bring us to take exams:
Moving to another country is an exam, the biggest one.
Facing job interviews is an exam and, like an exam, they need to be prepared in all the details.
Joining the local basketball team, after having played for more than 30 years in a different country, is an exam as well.
Shopping at the supermarket is a pretty difficult exam: it can easily happen that you get back home and you discover you have bought 3 liters of yogurt instead of 3 liters of milk…and you need to explain it to your kids the next morning…
At the course “DK: life 2.1”, that we are currently attending, the exams are going well, and I would like to take the diving one as a positive sign for the future…
After all, we should take into consideration one more equation:
Number of exams in your life>(number of exams you expect when you are a kid) n