The day I jumped off the top board

One of the greatest moments of my life

Gordie Jackson
2 min readFeb 21, 2024
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

In contemplating memories from childhood this one stands out from them all. You may be curious why such an event would stand out. But when I scan my memories it is the one.

I believe I know why. Time and again in my life, I am brought back to that moment.

We went as a class to the pool on Wednesday. It was Mrs Bradfield’s class so it is likely to be 1978 /9 although I was in her class for two years so maybe 1980/1.

It was the day they decided to let us ‘go off the top board’. I was terrified. I stood on that board for maybe 15 minutes before I jumped. I walked back and forward increasing my anxiety but maybe also my adrenalin. Finally, I jumped releasing as I did an almighty shout.

I hit the water and I was intact.

Time and again the emotions I felt on that top board return prompted by a challenge or a stirring. In those moments I deliberate, I hesitate, I mentally go to and fro and then I see the memory. I draw on the memory as I relive the emotions and often find the courage ‘to jump’.

Without knowing it at the time it has become one of the greatest moments of my life as it has returned time and time again when I felt nervous and needed encouragement.


PS I would love to hear a similar memory of yours



Gordie Jackson

Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.