I was never a good diver because I was nearsighted and was always worried about where I would land.
But I at least had the experience of trying it under supervision.
It was undoubtedly traumatic that such a thing happened.
I set this in the broader context of naked swimming in America. This reflects a radical change in social mores today that reflects different attitudes toward nudity, privacy, and the body than were common in earlier times in America.I recently attended a reunion of the class of 1961 of Bennett High School in Buffalo, NY.As part of the weekend events we were given a tour of our high school to see what had changed and what remained the same.These boys are younger than 9th grade, but the diving board looks similar to the one I remember in our high school pool. So a physical activity that I was actually good at has been removed.When we got to the gym our guide pointed out that the climbing poles and ropes had been removed and climbing was no longer a part of the school gym curriculum. I was sad to hear that the ropes and poles were gone because I had actually done well in climbing in the 7th and 8th grades and did it in the boys gymnastic show in P. We were often shirtless in elementary school gym class, which was a situation in which adolescent boys were often insecure because our bodies were developing at wildly different rates.Rather, I was created as a body—a body with a mind and a soul. So it is a serious thing if the body becomes a source of shame because then we’re talking about my shame.