Inspired by this thread, where a fat guy asks advice about taking a deep jump into a pit.
It got me thinking about when I dove off a bridge as a younger man. Most responses dealt with jumping, but as a stupid younger guy in my 20s, I dove off the Rte 50 bridge near Annapolis on a dare.
Background is the clearance on this bridge ranges from 40 to 80 feet and I’m guessing that at about halfway to the center, I probably launched myself headfirst at about 60 feet above the river.
I was friends at the time with some great skiers and surfers, and I did not have the technical skill to ski back country “triple diamonds” or huge waves.
My friends would call me a pussy for not skiing down these slopes or going out in 20 plus waves.
My attitude was that’s just stupid, because I don’t have the technical skill for that, but I’m not a pussy.
I asserted that a better test of “balls” would be diving off a high structure like a bridge, since this did not take years of skills development, like skiing or surfing.
Either you would dive or not–and it came down to whether you were a “pussy” or not. Besides some basic body alignment skills, which we all recognized we had.
My satisfaction is that I was the only one who did dive off this bridge, and my hard-core skier friends only jumped.
But, in retrospect, this a bridge people have committed suicide off of and, checking the depths charts on the Severn on the location–only 15-25 feet, makes me realize how stupid this was, even though as soon as I hit the water, I was bending my body to surface. Scary, that I had no idea how close I came to breaking my neck on the bottom…
So, I’m interested in hearing about others’ experience with doing stupid shit to prove they were not a wimp.
What other tests of physical courage that don’t need technical skill–like mountain climbing or whatever, which I will probably not be interested in at my age, is there?
Diving off a bridge that people use to commit suicide has rank up there.
(Any USNA grads out there, being familiar with the bridge?)
I guess I should add that being in combat situations by guys in the military are on a totally different plane. I’m thinking of everyday potential civilian experiences. Thank you for your service.