I really did.
I tried as best as I could, but you know how there is that phrase about teaching an old dog new tricks?
First, let’s clarify: I don’t consider myself an old dog.
I just think that perhaps I would have been a bit more fearless when I was younger.
But I tried really hard to learn a new trick on Saturday.
I tried to learn how to do a gainer.
It all started at the second annual Campbell-DeLaMare swimming party at the DeLaMare mansion. They wouldn’t call it a mansion. They just call it home, but I never had my own bathroom connected to my bedroom and a walk-in closet growing up. I never had a swimming pool in the backyard with a diving board and slide. I never had an upstairs and downstairs kitchen. I never had an indoor swimming pool either. I did, however, have a pool table and a ping pong table.*
We became friends with the DeLaMares when they moved in to the average-size house next door over a decade ago. Before long, Maren and I were babysitting their youngest kids, Mom was scheduling her daily walks with their mom, Lisa, and we built a new fence with a door in it so we could easily walk from one backyard to the other. It was neighborhood bliss. And then the DeLaMares decided to upgrade. They moved to a bigger home and left our little neighborhood behind. But don’t worry; we stayed friends.
Isn’t it great that even though they live in their fancy new home they still want to see the Campbells? And they want to see ALL of us? GOOD friends.
This last Saturday afternoon was the swimming party.
Maren, Thane, Laina, Hobbes and I drove up together. Before long, we were all outside swimming and the diving board was just asking for my brothers to fling themselves off of it. I hesitated.
But they made it look so easy to do a gainer: Jarv, Mick and Thane.
“You just arch your back,” Thane instructed me.
Mick said something about jumping higher.
Jarv said something about tucking.
I tried the first time and landed on my head. Not too bad. I was more than halfway around.
I tried again. Back flop. Lost my courage.
Went in shins first.
Try again, jump higher.
So much for learning how to do a gainer.
Guess the remainder of the lessons will have to wait for the Campbell-DeLaMare swimming party next year. I’ll let you know how that goes.
*You’d think because of this I would be a decent pool player or have some amount of ping pong skills. Your thoughts would be wrong, though. I can, however, play both sports better than I can bowl.