"went swimming this evening at a Christian Fellowship Church event and dove off of a diving board for the first time in 20+ years. It was a blast. I did a flip for the first time ever, followed by more, tried and failed at several attempts of half backward flips and dives, face planted even more with flips and twists that the body wasn't built to do and loved every minute of it. Thank God I'm a free man."As I read Josh's status, I was gripped by the gratitude that I have for my freedom ... and for that matter, diving boards. To get a better appreciation of why this was such a big deal for Josh, I recommend that you visit his blog and read his story.
Everyone should have the chance to jump off a diving board. There is a magical sense of anticipation as you are thrown up into the air, momentarily suspended, with various body parts moving in different directions as momentum, and then gravity, carry you to the inevitable destination -- the pool of water that breaks the fall of the diver. I have spent countless hours honing my acrobatic skills as I have attempted an assortment of different dives over the years. My wife likes telling a story that I tried to impress her before she even knew me by performing a gainer while she was visiting the neighborhood swimming pool. (Pure fiction I say! Well, the gainer part was most likely true, but not the part about me only doing it to impress her.) I now enjoy watching my two sons delight in the fun as they dive, front flip, back flip, barrel roll, cannonball, can opener, twist, watermelon, pencil, etc. off the board and into the pool.
Freedom is one of those things that you normally don't think of having until you no longer have it. Many people choose to never jump off a diving board or frolic in a swimming pool and I love that they have the freedom to make such a choice. However, Josh was denied that opportunity for a large portion of his life. He knows more about freedom than I ever will. And I love how on this particular occasion he enjoyed his freedom with the use of a diving board.
I did not get to see Josh flip, somersault, smile and laugh as he recklessly sprung from the board that day, but I know it was a beautiful thing to see. As summer comes to a close, I might make one more trip to the swimming pool. If I do, I'm going to make a point of enjoying my freedom. I'll also take a leap off of the diving board. Since I no longer need to impress the ladies; Josh, this next gainer is for you.