I never dive off the high board at a swimming pool but it is nothing to do with any of the phobias you may expect.
Since as far back as can remember I have been a logical thinker.
To my way of thinking logical fear is a good thing but illogical fear is a phobia.
For instance it is healthy to fear a snarling dog with fangs bared but to simply fear all dogs is a phobia.
As far as I can tell my only illogical fear is being the center of attention. It embarrasses me and I hate being embarrassed.
Public speaking terrifies me.
I remember in my first year in infant's school, which was really kindergarten, I was put in a play at Christmas. I would have been alright with that because all my friends were made to dress up in stupid costumes too so I would have been able to blend in which is all I ever wanted to do. Instead I was made to open the play and given the first line. It was the first word to be precise. As I pointed to an imaginary star I had to say Look.
Not only did I have the humiliation of saying this first word but I had to change the way I said it.
I was sure nobody would even understand what I was saying rounding out the vowels into L ooo - k.
Being an obedient child I just went along with it but I hated every minute.
When that ordeal was over I vowed to find a way out of ever being in a play again and about years later I find that I have succeeded.
School was a particularly trying time for me because I hated having to stand up in class to answer questions, recite things or whatever else was asked of us. Being asked to do this after someone else had gone before was not as bad as being first but since my name started with 'A' I was almost always first. I really hate being first to be embarrassed.
In my first year at grammar school I did what was expected of me and studied hard to get the best grades possible in all subjects. This effort did not appear to please my parents particularly. It was simply expected. What it did accomplish was to put me at the top of the class for which I was awarded a piece of meaningless paper.
The problem for me came when I was told I would be presented with said useless paper at an assembly of the whole school. Naturally, being in the first grade with top marks, I was the first one called on the stage to shake the hand of the headmaster.
I was devastated by this humiliation and made sure I never again came in at the top of my class in anything but woodwork and there were no prizes handed out for that subject.
Getting back to my fear of diving off the high board.
I am not afraid of heights.
This is a picture of me looking over the edge of a roof about 6 stories above the ground which I am told many people have trouble doing.
I have no fear of water, in fact my mother used to say if I spent any more time swimming in the North Sea where we lived I was going to grow webbed feet and I often dived into the river from the jetties in the harbour.
I have no fear of jumping from heights. We used to jump from a gun emplacement onto the beach just for the fun of it, a height of approximately 20 feet.
I also have no fear of being underwater. My friends and I could each swim more than one lap of the pool underwater.
So What is left? you ask.
The first, and only time, I dived from the high board I went to the edge of the board and decided that a jack knife dive would be the best to get me heading straight down to enter the water perfectly. Without any more thought I executed the dive just as I would have from the side of the pool or jetty. Everything went perfectly. I entered the water with very little splash and arrived at the bottom of the pool. Unfortunately my bathing suit did not come with me and remained floating on the surface of the pool.
It was then I realised that being the center of attention was not the worst thing that could happen to me, being naked and the center of attention was.
I could never bring myself to dive from the high board again.