When I arrived at the pool party in Tootell Aquatic Center last Thursday, I expected to leave with my dignity intact. That was not the case. Instead, I left with red marks on my body from a failed diving attempt turned belly flop, vivid memories of belting out Toto’s Africa from the top of a blow-up floatie and a new understanding of my lack of paddle boarding abilities.
The event, hosted by Campus Recreation, brought in many excited students ready to let out some steam. For those that attended, there was never a dull moment. Personally, I didn’t know what to expect walking in and was fairly nervous. I am a woman in 2018 whose eaten one too many hamburgers and so the idea of a night spent at school in a bathing suit did not sound appealing.
To mask this nervousness I jumped into the first activity I saw. This happened to be key log rolling, which let me tell you is not a leisurely exercise. The pool staff member running this activity was nice enough to demonstrate what the activity was. It involved a long red pole that sat on the top of the water. When my friends and I said we were interested he used his arms to vault himself on top of the beam. Once he was standing, his coworker began to spin the poll beneath him. In all honesty, I started to worry a great deal at this point. On top of the poll, the man skipped in place, doing his best not to tumble into the chlorine lagoon. He made it look easy, like a fun little dance.
My attempt to replicate his moves did not go so nicely. Apparently, the mere act of getting on top of the pole was a challenge. For five minutes I threw my body at the pole, attempting to hug on to it like a koala and tug myself up. When I finally stood on top, a conquering hero, I immediately fell flat. At that point in time, I gave up on my log rolling career and decided to watch the tactics of others.
Two girls moved to the front of the line and whispered something about holding hands when they got to the top. “That way if one of us falls, we both fall,” one said excitedly. I thought that was cute, but I also thought they were being naive in even thinking they could get to the top. Proving me wrong, and proving my complete lack of athleticism, the girls jumped to the top and ran on the spinning log, inspiring cheers from those around them.
My friends and I made our way over to the next pool where we found a very extravagant diving contest taking place. Earlier in the night, I watched my housemate bounce off a diving board into a simple pencil dive. When I began to watch this contest, people were climbing to the highest post and flipping and twisting the whole way down. I was astounded. There were three lifeguards judging the ordeal, they held up a score of an eight and two nine’s.
After we traveled to the last pool where we were asked if we had ever paddle boarded before. The answer was a resounding no, so we were given clear directions on how to paddleboard. I moved my wobbly legs one at a time onto a large paddleboard and used my hands to steady my balance. “Hey I’m doing it!” I yelled to my friends. Yes, I was trembling and not moving very fast but I was upright and very proud of that fact! The instructor seemed to be pleased too as she clapped for me to keep going.
The whole night was filled with moments like these. Quick smiles, splashes, dance moves and volleyballs being tossed between pals. It was just what I needed and not at all what I expected. Events at the pool are ones I’d recommend for all students to attend.