I'll never forget my greatest belly flop.
I was about ten years old and visiting family friends in San Diego. I grew up in Southern California and knew my way around pools and diving boards. So when we went to the local public pool and I was dared to dive from the three-meter board, I quickly clambered up the ladder and made my way to the edge.
That's when I got scared--three meters (nearly ten feet) is pretty high for a ten-year-old. But it was my first time that high, it was a dare, and I had to do it.
Wrong decision. I froze up, and when I finally dove, I belly flopped. It was the most excruciating pain I had ever felt--even more painful than when my older brother swung a golf club and struck me in the head, but that's a different story.
Correction: Make that "when I finally dived..." As one grammar stickler pointed out to me early in my copyediting career, "dove" is a bird; "dived" is the past tense for dive.
This is the type of correction grammar sticklers love. When I see "dove" meaning the past tense, I dutifully change it to "dived." I don't think I'll ever forget the difference, just as I'll never forget my greatest belly flop.
("I Dive" T-shirt pictured is available here.)