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Sports

What They Were Thinking

What They Were Thinking: Catching some air

David Colturi, 23, of Ann Arbor, Mich., practicing for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Aug. 23., with the Tobin Bridge as a backdrop.

Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

David Colturi, 23, of Ann Arbor, Mich., practicing for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Aug. 23., with the Tobin Bridge as a backdrop.

Every Sunday, Boston Globe photographer Stan Grossfeld asks the subject of one of his photos to explain what's happening in the shot.

Who’s up today: David Colturi, 23, of Ann Arbor, Mich., practicing for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Aug. 23., with the Tobin Bridge as a backdrop.

Colturi: “This stop is super special with the skyline. When you get up there, it’s so cool, to compete and get paid to do what we love. You don’t want to overthink it. I take a deep breath, count to three, and just go. This is an inward. I’m standing backwards on the platform. I jump backwards but start rotating forward, towards it. When you leave the platform, you’re not thinking anything. It’s just muscle memory. You don’t want to complicate it too much. Your mind is just blank and you can enjoy the in-flight experience. It’s very scary. Just being comfortable up that high in the air takes time and repetition to get used to. If you can get over the nerves and stay in control and stay focused, you can do the dive the way you want to do it. It’s the only US stop on the tour and I have tons of family coming out. The photos and video don’t do this justice. My mom probably handles this the best of everybody. She’s been my No. 1 fan. My dad thinks we’re all crazy. He jokes that he thinks I was dropped on my head a few times too many when I was a kid.”

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Colturi finished third in Saturday’s final behind winner Gary Hunt of England and Orlando Duque of Colombia.

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