I had plenty of opportunities for adventure as a child. I was lucky enough to be sent on various trips as a child, usually to boarding school in the United States. I was what some might call a spitfire. Although there were many reasons that a child is sent to boarding school, for me it was often as a punishment that I was sent to boarding school. Sometimes it was because my parents were travelling or the like, but most of the time that I spent in boarding school was because my parents hoped I would learn my lesson.
“I enjoyed everything I did, even when I got in trouble.”
Since playing sports was largely out of the question through my high school, I found a way to do them on my own. We belonged to a country club, and they had a very nice swimming pool, and all that, so I thought that would be as good as a place as any to start. I did learn something; it wasn’t long before I figured out that these nuns were basically earning their living through me… so I was going to make sure they earned every penny. I remember, we used to have P.E. and we had a male teacher. So, then, we could not wear shorts, we had to wear skirts, and pants underneath the skirts, long pants. And then the teacher would stand in the front and the nuns would stand on the side, you could not lift your legs. It was just horrendous.
They had this huge diving board and I climbed all the way up. It was just a long flight of metal stairs. So I climbed to the top of the ten-meter tower and looked down. The worst part was, I had no idea how to swim. But I figured it was now or never. For me the most interesting part was after I went in, I came up again. So right then, I taught myself how to swim. I did not have any style to the swimming I taught myself, it was really just doggy-paddling. Nevertheless, it got me to the edge. And so then I decided to go back and jump again, and jump again, and jump again. Pretty soon, a lot of my friends wanted to do the same thing. We would just spend our free time doing this, until we formed a team. Lucky for us, we found this guy that had been an Olympic medalist from Mexico that was hanging around the club. And so then we asked him if he would teach us how to dive, so then he ended up coaching us. We entered interscholastic competitions, and things like that. We kept on winning, and continued to enter new competitions. At one point, we went on and on and on and on and on I ended up bringing home the bronze medal in the Pan-American games in Venezuela.