- DIVER: Robert Paul Carroll
- NATIVE COUNTRY: USA/Canada
- CATEGORY – Athlete
- DIVE: Squash
- LEVEL: 1
- REQUIREMENTS: Level 1 (Has taken a squash course or competed against someone else playing squash.)
Editor’s Note: On all dive certifications, we try to edit the writing as little as possible to preserve authenticity, personality, and writing style. We typically fix spelling errors, but minimally modify grammar and sentence structure (just enough to ensure readability).
When and Why Did You Decide to Pursue This Dive?
I decided to go for it when I met someone at a chocolaterie in Montreal on September 2, 2020. My motivation sprung from this gentleman mentioning that he had just returned from a nearby club where he had just played. It triggered a memory of how I played this sport, having forgotten about it altogether I admit before this moment in time.
My memories were so fond. Happy people, exciting athletic competition, the sense of a thrilling test of hand-eye coordination. Now that I am a bit older and wiser, I was and am intrigued by the mental component of the sport. When I was younger I competed more emotionally and with an intermediate to advanced degree of skill in all sports I participated in, court sports included. This Dive, at the time it represented a challenge to the hand of time and I viewed it as much as a mental challenge as anything.
How Long Did It Take For You To Accomplish This Dive At This Level From The Day You Decided To Pursue It, And Why Did It Take That Long?
It depends on how you look at it. On the one hand, it took me almost four decades to return to the court since last I played the sport. One could argue that I inadvertently decided to delay re-engagement in the sport for a period of time and so my picking the racquet back up when I did was a culmination of that journey—one I didn’t know I had embarked on? Ha!
Marching it forward, it took me twenty days from the moment I cheerfully proposed to play squash with a new friend. I stayed in touch with him and met again at the same chocolaterie two weeks after I first met him to confirm our court time, and so persisted in building this new relationship. We then proceeded to meet and play squash the next week.
What Was The Hardest Part About Achieving This Dive Level?
The hardest part was truly relating with someone who has played squash more frequently over the years, and trying to convince myself that I belonged on the same court as him. I had to first believe this about myself, and act the part. I then had to go and acquire a squash racquet and court shoes, as I had neither. I then also had to read up and immerse myself in the rules of the game and watch video tutorials and practice my swing at home by hitting squash balls off our bedboard, ha. So by the time I arrived at the court, I was prepared to more than look the part and muscle memory, much of which I have thanks to more continued tennis play over the years.
It was thrilling to have to be ready and represent myself with this person I played with, who happens to be a fitness instructor at the club. It was also a bit of a challenge talking with my new friend with our little Emma with us, she’s a talker. She was in it for the ice cream actually, nevermind the chocolate.
What Was The Easiest Part About Achieving This Dive Level?
The easiest part was playing squash. Once I got on the court and began to swing the racquet, I realized I had a degree of skill thanks to trained muscle memory from a very early age. I truly enjoy the sport and it was physically and emotionally invigorating to be out there again and an even greater feeling to play more than decently my first time out in such a long time.
What Is Your Advice For Someone Who Is Pursuing This Dive And Level?
Squash is a fun sport that requires the mastery of a repeatable swing in addition to a certain level of fitness and athleticism. If you are interested in break diving into it, go for it!
Regardless of how much experience you have playing the sport, it is very fun to play. If you want to improve your game more rapidly, I advise taking lessons from a professional. I did when I was a much younger man and it paid dividends for me decades later. It’s a kind of regal sport too that requires a high level of sportsmanship and concern for your opponent, what with a small ball flying all over the place, to say nothing of swinging racquets.
What Are Some Of The Best Resources You Recommend to Those Pursuing This Dive at This Level, And Why Do You Recommend Them? Please Include Relevant Weblinks, If Applicable.
Great question. I just did a search under YouTube typing in the word “squash” and I suggest that you do the same. I watched matches between the world’s top players and watched the way they moved and carried themselves on the court, the different shots they each used to win points, etc. To get an overall feel for the game played at full speed, that was very helpful. You will also find plenty of YouTube tutorials on the basics of squash as well.
Tell Us A Story Of One Of Your Adventures While Pursuing This Dive.
The friend I played with, Audly, our meeting one another in the first place was a fun story. We met at a Montreal chocolatarie that has welcomed celebrities on travel from out of town. I was with my fiancé and her youngest daughter, Emma, when we met him the first time. Everyone of course had their masks on just to be able to go into the establishment.
We were there to get ice cream for our girl. I struck up a conversation with this gentlemen and by the time we were all done talking, it felt like we were friends with one another and the couple that owns and operates the chocolatarie. I proposed we meet again, this new friend of mine, two weeks later and so the conversation leading up to our then progressing to the squash court was a mutually rewarding development.
Not only is this person a mental health professional, he is also a former NYC dancer and a well known Canadian Jamaican. So that was cool, just relating with another positive person, who just happened to play squash and share my heart for spreading joy to others.
How Did You Prove You Met The Requirements for this Level?
Well, let’s see… how about a photo of my new squash racquet, court shoes, and two squash balls I purchased in advance, in addition to a ball we broke while playing… along with a business card from an employee at the Club who called me afterward who called to ask me if I would be interested in joining the Club. A photo of me and Emma at the chocalaterie, and a photo of Audly and his book, and me wearing his cause on my arm!
Will you be pursuing the next level? If so, why, and if not, why not?
You bet! I came up short my first time out, 2-3. But I am confident that when next invited to play again I will have a chance of prevailing this time. I am going to be patient on the return to the court with this friend at this exclusive club. When he thinks to invite me again I’ll be ready, and perhaps I will have found somewhere else here to practice and find someone else to play with at another court. I really enjoyed getting back out there. And now that I have the racquet and a little momentum, you bet – I am game for the next level of this Dive BD Worldwide. Let’s do it!
And having made this post, and provided adequate evidence to the dive committee, Robert Paul Carroll is now hereby certified by Break Diving, Inc. as: ATHLETE – SQUASH – LEVEL 1. Congratulations Robert Paul! Thank you for being an inspiration to others!
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