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My Footstep

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“Let’s climb it for Dad.” I look from my brother, Justin, to the mountain and back again. I am terrified. I place my footstep in the dirt, and begin my ascent.

The cold wind slaps my cheeks, while the dense fog blurs my vision. Without missing a step, I keep climbing. My muscles are strained, and I’m out of breath. My hands throb and my ears sting from the harsh cold air. But I won’t stop. I have to reach the top.

I’m halfway across the world, climbing to the top of a world—a mountain connecting the 12 Pins in Ireland. I am creating my own path, straight to the top.


Making my way up the mountain, I stop to take in my surroundings—the beautiful green rolling land, and the horizon of the ocean just past the vast mountain tops. “Come on El, we aren’t done,” says Justin. I quickly snap back to reality.

Marching my feet one after the other. Up, up, up. A sudden splash attacks my nose, I look up—it begins to drizzle. And then splat—it begins to pour. The rain doesn’t hinder, it only frustrates me further, so I keep climbing. Stupid rain.

At this point, I am soaked and my body aches in pain. I’m exhausted. I’m freezing. But, I quickly stop myself and think of my dad. When his back surgery went wrong and he didn’t get better, my family was at a loss. But after four back surgeries and a heart attack, he is still holding it together. If he can get through all of that, I can climb this mountain.

The wind dies, the fog clears, and the rain stops. Everything is eerily still. My mind stops running, and my breathing slows. In that moment, everything is at a standstill.

I did it. I made it to the top. I look to Justin and we both smile in triumph. Overwhelmed with happiness I whisper, “Dad would have loved this.”

In those two weeks in Ireland with my brother, I pushed myself to experience new things every single day. I was exposed to diversity. And with each new adventure, I retain a new characteristic.

Wherever I place my footstep next, will be a challenge I’ll take on with perseverance, responsibility, and leadership—because I know my dad would.



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Sanya123 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm
Four stars! :D
 
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