Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jumping off the roof

I don't think of myself as a risk taker.  I know people that are risk takers.  They scare me.  But, I understand that in the eyes of some, some of the sports that I participate in are "risky".  My Mom is one of them.

Many years ago, the water out at Shuswap Lake was obscenely high.  It got high enough, that myself and my neighbor decided to jump off the boathouse into the lake.  The Boathouse is normally a good 30-40 feet back from the shoreline, so you can extrapolate the added height of the lake.

The boathouse jump became the stuff of legend.  Every spring we talked about it.  "Remember the boathouse jump?"  Then we'd talk about how the water will never get that high again and it was a once-in-a-lifetime event.

So.  2012.  The water got really high in May but I couldn't really justify a four-and-a-half hour drive just to jump off a boathouse.  The water began to recede and then, lo-and-behold, rise again.  The water was actually peaking in July!  And not only really peaking.

We arrived at the lake a good foor-and-a-half after the Lake peaked.  But it was still way up there.  It looked like the boathouse jump might happen.

I started with a few exploratory swims.  The water was at about head height in the landing zone.  The posts and balcony could easily be avoided.  It seemed like all systems go.  Except for my Mom.

Gawd.  You'd think at thirty-four you'd be able to avoid guilt trips and suggestions that you were going to kill yourself.  If I've learned one thing from 25 years of skateboard and mountain bike videos, I've learned that the human body is a resilient object.  I tried reasoning with her, to no avail.  Then, decided to just do it when she went away somewhere.  And, somehow, she never seemed to be further than 30 feet from the jumping spot.  I would just have to do it without her blessing.  Which is just kind of sad.  That I have to say something like that.

Back to safety precautions.  Our one learning from the first roof jump (I think we did it twice, actually), is that you need to minimize the amount of depth that you plunge into the water.  A life jacket does nicely.  As well, some foot protection is generally advisable, in the event that you hit bottom.  I found some aquasocks kicking around that my sister figures used to be my grandma's.  Suited up, I went for it.  Very much fun.

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