The title of my latest blog entry should invoke images of a silver haired elderly woman crying out in panic as she stares up from the floor after tumbling out of the shower. If only she had Life Alert! What the title is actually referring to is me getting stuck in the 12 foot diving well of the Hampden Pool last pre-season with no way out. Yes, you read that correctly. Allow me to set the stage…
It was early June and I was draining and pressure washing our main pool to prepare it for acid washing. In any other year or time, I would have thought we were in the twilight zone if you would have said I’d be just starting to drain the pool in June. But, alas, COVID-19...anyhow, moving on. Our Board had just voted to open the Pool with COVID restrictions in place. IN 4 WEEKS! What normally would take me 8-12 weeks to accomplish, I had to tackle in 4!
Which brings me back to being stuck in the diving well. There I was, soaked in mud-we’ll pretend it was only mud…side note-while our department was furloughed for the month of April, a lovely goose couple moved in, set up shop, and had babies. (Now you know why I was telling myself it was only mud). In the rush to finish the job, I hadn’t cleaned the ramp that led out of the diving well properly...or at all. One step on that thing and it was the goose poop slide to the bottom. While I composed myself (and muttered more than a few curse words), I learned some things down there.
- Never rush the job-I was under pressure to get things accomplished quickly, but I should have never rushed. Finishing the pressure washing of the ramp leading to the diving well would have negated me getting stuck in there. It is possible that I still could have slipped, but I would have been able to get out of there with a freshly cleaned ramp. Whether it be a grant application, the design of a program guide, or that latest social media post, don’t rush things. Put thought and sound decision making into every task you set out to accomplish.
- For some jobs, don’t work alone-Had I been working with someone else on this fine day, they could have thrown a rope to me or lowered a ladder, or called the fire company...I’m glad the fire company wasn’t called. I shudder to think about if I would have hit my head on the way down, or had some other injury that would have prevented me from actually recovering to my feet. If I had a partner there, if for nothing more than to ensure that I was able to accomplish the final task of cleaning the diving well, things would have been a little easier that day.
- Always have back up-Whether it be a person (see above), or a cell phone, always have a back-up plan if things go haywire. As I stood in the deep, deep diving well, I cursed myself for not tethering my being to something sturdy before I even got close to the ramp.
The good news is that, other than my ego, nothing else was bruised this time. And we finished everything we needed to in order to open the facility in four weeks. And we had a great season, all things considered. As for how I actually got out of the diving well? Ask me that in-person the next time you see me.