June 2, 2008
By Taylor Walston, Mason, OH

Stopped at the side of a dirt road, I gazed around and saw nothing. I questioned my father as to how this could possibly be a tourist spot. Despite deep hesitation, we descended down a trodden path surrounded by dense trees and thicket. A few slick rocks and an almost-twisted ankle later, I saw the diamond in the rough.
A beautiful oasis stood in the middle of a mediocre forest. Three beautiful waterfalls poured into a glistening pond. Across the way, I saw a beaten rope hanging from a tree. I gulped. Jumping off ledges had never been on my to-do list. My brother and father quickly discovered the exhilaration of flying through the tropical air into the water below. They seemed to be enjoying themselves, so I thought I would give it a try.
I clambered to the root of the tree holding the rope, crouched down, and gripped my fingers around the coiled threads. I was told not to think before jumping off. I foolishly chose to ignore that piece of advice as I contemplated what I was about to do. I knew I was not being forced to jump. I wanted to do it for myself. But, it was a risk, and risks scared me. I looked down and thought of all the things that could go wrong: belly flopping…breaking a leg…dying.
A shout from my brother made me try to jump for the first time, but I stopped short. How could I succeed with negative thoughts in my mind? The risks should not even matter. What matters is the moment I jump off the ledge and let go. The ability to break free from all that is logical and enjoy the moment.
My feet left the edge with no regret.

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