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The Bucket List

The color photo of Suzanne at the Snohomish Aquatic Center documents the moment she achieved the one item on her 2019 “Challenge List.” The blackand- white photo was taken at a pool on Staten Island, 1960.

...by Suzanne G. Beyer

I hate the term “Bucket List.” It makes me feel old. I’m not old. I’m 18. Well, in my mind I’m 18. In truth, 75 this year!

If I were to make a Bucket List, I’d call it a “Challenge List.”

Last year, I finally accomplished the only item on my Challenge List. I always wanted to pay my respects to our WWII warriors who landed on the Normandy beaches, D-Day, June 6, 1944. The thought of an uncomfortable 10-hour flight to Europe kept me from going.

One day, a trusted friend said, “DO IT NOW!” That was the push I needed. On a warm sunny July 2018 day, standing on the beaches of “Utah,” “Omaha” and at the cliffs of Pont du Hoc, I said Thank You to our soldiers and offered a prayer. Since that trip, I’ve made it my mission to read books, articles and watch WWII documentaries to cement in my mind the price of freedom.

This year, my Challenge List again consists of one item…that’s to take a dive!

In the 1950s and 60s, where I grew up on Staten Island, every swimming pool had a couple of diving boards. The 3-meter board was way too high and scary for me, but the 1-meter served me well. Many of us young water rats loved to dive. I figured, in my 75th year, I’d dive again from a 1-meter board, to try to recreate what I learned during my 16-year-old diving lessons. Surely, it would be just like riding a bicycle.

After many telephone calls to local YMCAs, fitness centers and high school pools, I discovered diving boards no longer exist. No diving boards? Apparently, diving boards present a liability; diving is too dangerous. Really?

My heart breaks for today’s kids who won’t get the chance to spring from the board, gracefully soar through the air and enter the water without a splash, without a sound…missing out on an exhilarating experience!

I finally found a 1-meter diving board located at the Snohomish Aquatic Center. I bought a white multi-petalled bathing cap to add pizzazz to my plain, green polyester bathing suit. This should make for a comical sight for young swimmers who look up to see an old lady dive, straight legs, toes pointed and entering the water without a splash, without a sound. At least that’s my 18-year-old mind’s image, while envisioning this feat from the comfort of my couch.

That’s all for this year’s List, which I’m sure will build up again next year.

Mission accomplished!

What’s on your Challenge List?

Suzanne Beyer says, “I’ve learned one important lesson. Don’t ever go 55 years between dives!”