Once upon a time, I was swimming with my friend. Okay, it’s only three days ago, the last Saturday in the morning. It’s more like chatting session at the pool than swimming, because we chat a lot more than swim. (That’s why you should have a plan B when you brought too many or too little company, and want to keep swimming while talking at the same time) After a little while, we moved from the 1.5m depth pool, to the 4m depth one. At first, he’s hesitated, but after I explained about how beautiful the underwater view is, he’s agree.
At the 4m pool, we swim back and forth, a couple of times, then chat again, and then watching a child going to jump from a 3m jumping board. Then we chat again.. WAITAMINUTE..! A child going to JUMP from 3m jumping board to a 4m depth pool? What the hell is he thinking? Ow, but there’s a man in the pool, looks like a swimming coach. Okay, that relieves me. And we chat again, while the coach is encouraging the boy to jump. I overheard his name is Kevin. The coach not only coaching this boy. There are also several boys and girls, all in roughly the same age as Kevin, approximately still in the primary school. After a little while, I still hear the coach encouraging, means that Kevin isn’t jump already. We switch focus from chatting to watching how the coach encouraging Kevin.
“C’mon, Kevin! You can do it last week. Why you wouldn’t do it today?” said the coach.
“Yea, wait a minute, I will jump.” Kevin replied. He stands up, move to the start of the jumping board, and then started to run in hesitation. And right in the edge, he stopped, and crouching again, with his hands holding the edge of the jumping board.
“Oh, c’mon already! It will be alright. I will be at the bottom to help you up. You’ll be alright.” the coach said impatiently. Kevin wasn’t replied anything. “If you’re not going to jump, I will call it a day.” the coach said again while starting to get out from the water.
“Yea yea okay okay, I will jump! But promised me you’ll be at the bottom.” Kevin replied again. “Okay then,” said the coach, descending back into the water, “I’ll countdown to zero. If you’re not jumping, I’ll get off. Ten, nine,” I see Kevin standing up. “eight, seven, six,” he’s still hesitating. “Five, four, three,” Kevin crouching up again, “two, one, I’m off.” “Okay okay! Wait up!” Kevin standing up, and get back to the start of the jumping board. “C’mon Kevin,” one of his swimming mate taunted him, “if you jump, I’ll give you Blackberry Torch™!” oh my God, kids nowadays. “Wah, I also want to jump too, if I really get Blackberry Torch,” my friend jokingly commented to me. Ten minutes later, I’m starting to get impatient.
“Hey, have you ever jump from the jumping board before?” I said to my friend. “Yea, I was, when I’m still a teenager few years ago.” he replied. “But now, I won’t ever think about that. I’m not as fit as I used to be. I rarely swimming and exercising lately. You?”
“I do,” I said. “It’s very beautiful at the bottom after you splashed in to the water. You wanna try it with me?” I asked. “No thanks. I think I’ll pass.” he replied again. There goes my only chance to do it at least with someone’s support.
I rose up from the water, walk to the 1m jumping board for warming up, because I’m not sure how it feels. I’m not sure I’ll have enough courage to immediately jumped from 4m jumping board. I rarely done that, even though I like to swim. At the edge of the 1m jumping board, those freaky feelings started to lurk inside.
“Hmm, it’s kinda scary and fun,” I said to my friend before I jumped. “But maybe because it’s only 1m, I don’t feel too scary.” and then, I gathered courage, and jump. Splasshhhh… The goggle I put before make me able to see the beauty of the 4m pool underwater, like I’m expecting.
“I’m ready (for the 3m jumping board).” I said to my friend. “It’s pretty cool. Are you sure you still don’t want to try it with me?” I taunt him again. “No, I really sure that I will pass this one.” “Okay.”
I walked to the 3m jumping board, climb it, and see that Kevin still hasn’t jumped yet. There’s two parallel jumping boards at the 3m jumping board. Kevin was standing on one of them. I took the other. As I walked to the edge of the jumping board, whoa, it IS scary!
“Wow, it indeed scary.” I said involuntary. “Yeah, but it won’t after you have jumped into water.” the coach said to me.
I still have second thought of not jumping, when this Kevin suddenly said “After you, bro.”
I immediately turned my head upon him. Good, very good little boy. Now I have nowhere to run.
Okay, this is it, I said to myself. I hold my breath, gather all my courage left, and then juuuuAAAAAAAAAAAARGHH… Splatssss! Whoa, the process of me falling from the jumping board is like in a slow motion, everything is like happened very slow, extending the excruciating fear like for all eternity… and suddenly I’m in the water. I’m passively letting the water brings me up while I’m enjoying the view and catching my lost soul that must had been dispersed into thin air when I jumped earlier.
“How about it? It’s great, isn’t it?” the coach said to me when my head is out in the water. “Yeah, sure.” I replied, “but I’m sure I won’t try this again in some times soon.” I continued my reply inside my head.
But the thing is, just only ten seconds after I had jumped, I hear other splats behind me. Kevin had jumped! I don’t know what happened, but after all, he had jumped. And then, he rose from the water, climbing onto that 3m jumping board, and jumped again! And his friends were also starting to jump from the jump board.
After I and my friend washed ourselves, I asked him. “How come Kevin suddenly willing to jump?”
“Well,” he replied, “maybe it have something to do with pride. I heard the coach said, there, that bro is all okay after he jumped. Are you still not going to jump? Well, you know, a child like that is very responsive to challenge. If you can, he thinks he’ll can do it too.”
Well, what I learn this day is that example is doing the very best of its job when pushing people doing what they thinks they can’t done before. If they sees someone just like them, but able to do something they afraid they can’t do, they will be encouraged greatly, than if it’s just plainly said “You can do it.”
And it works in exponential way. At first, I only think to encourage Kevin. But after I succeeded, Kevin himself brings his friends to also make their way to jumped from the jumping board, where his friend didn’t even ever try out before.
So, when you talk someone to do something they never done before, and no matter what you’ve said they didn’t seems to get over themselves, maybe the things left to be done is give them example by yourself. That will leave them no other choice but to follow your footsteps.
Okay, who’s want to jump from the jumping board next? 🙂