Never Back Down

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It died. Coughing and huffing- coming to a slow halt to the side of the insipid rocky road. Great, the motor home is lifeless, we are 1 ½ hours away from the expensive campsite, and we are trapped on the side on an abandoned road. Fortunately, I never depart home without my cell phone, which has partly battery and 3 bars of signal. I hand over the phone to my daddy: he calls a repair man. It takes a half an hour before the repair man showed up; those were the hottest, longest hours of my life! I was sweating like a pig in the 102 degree heat. Finally- he came...grubby, with lengthy, black, oily, hair. He doesn’t look one bit like a professional- I was proven very wrong. All the grimy man had to do is stiffen a couple bolts: orange with rust, and kick the side of the blue streaked motor home. Then we were once again on our way to camp. One day, one challenge, more to come.

Green, ubiquitously. Leaves brushing each other in the whispering wind. 1...9...2, our campsite number, the timber numbers are old and weathered, overtaken in green spongy mold. We look around, partially expecting clean surroundings: dry dead grass that turned a green-white color over time and from lack of water, faded waterlogged cardboard, and foggy lime water dropping from a rusty red spout near the beat up campfire pit covered the site. Are jaws drop, the mess made a tornado path look clean and neat. We clean for what seemed like forever, picking up the soggy mess. As challenging and time consuming as it was, it got easier as the war-zoned trash slowly began to fade away into the over-sized black trash bag. As soon as we finish my brother wined to my mommy... “Are we done yet? We picked up trash and everything! All that’s left is the grass; umm maybe we could spray-paint it green?” His grin stretched ear to ear, thinking he made a joke, while showing his white teeth you could see chocolate smudges. While we were working and cleaning, he was hiding out stuffing his face with Hershey’s Chocolate. I think to myself- It’s over, maybe I can enjoy myself? Well, we are up to two challenges in one day! Unknowing the worst of my fears is yet to come.

Morning attacks, the orange, red, and purple sunrise awakes over the pastel painted leaves. Then I think about the day ahead of me; I’m scared. You see, I’m scared of cliff diving; which is what this place if famous for, the cool clear water above the perfect high cliff, green with thick plush grass. “Savannah! Hurry up! Get ready! I want to go already!” My brother said, while tugging on my bunny slippers. I walk to the bathrooms in the middle of the non-crowded campground. I change into the rainbow swim suit, I open the door.... “AHHHHHH!!” a spider is hanging in the doorway, it ALMOST went into my face. I turn and run out of the paint-cracked bathroom, and sprint back to the cleaned up campsite. When I reach the start of the drive-in behind the 3 roomed camper, everyone is ready. We rush towards the opening appearing in the far off woods. The bushes are in a straight line, following the gravel paved pathway. 5 minutes later we reach the opening, guarded by a little squirrel digging up its winter stash of nuts. It scrambles up along a crooked tree as we scurry past. After walking 100 feet, we peer over the side of the hanging-over cliff....Nerve racking.... “ONE! TWO! AHHHH!!” Sydney and Austin scream as the soar off the side; Making a perfect diving into the black waters below the cliff. “Why didn’t you jump, Hun?” my mom questions me with curiosity. “I...umm, didn’t know they were jumping, I’ll go when they get back up here.” I peek over the side of the opening path, and see Sydney and Austin creeping over the side becoming more visible. “Mom, I have to use the bathroom.” I book it out of view. I didn’t want to tell her I was scared of heights, and deep water- the two things that make up cliff diving. I decide to skip out on the epic cliff diving today, and work on my tan. How am I going to get over this before tomorrow when I’m expected to cliff dive all day?? Day two, challenge three, I know my fear isn’t even close to leaving me alone.

Its 7:30 in the morning, the birds are singing their blissful songs in harmony and soaring around with out a fret in the world. Unlike myself, I go through the same routine: 1.) Get annoyed by little brother. 2.) Dash over to the old broken down restrooms in the dead center if the campsite. 3.) Make the brief jog over to the daring cliffs.... I feel a lot better today, like I really wanted to get over my apprehension of heights and deep water. It was easy; I just had to get over the sickening feeling of free falling over a cliff. I jumped; the wind was cool against my fear struck face. Water droplets from the waves splashed against the rocks with a tap. My arms entered the water, making the deep blue water beneath the surface exploded with little bubbles. My whole body hits the nipping cold water, the sting is overwhelming and I panic. While I try to find the surface, I saw the reflection of the sun and I swam towards it. The blaze is my guide out of the depths of the blue unknown. Gasping for the warm humid air is see my mom and dad looking for me about the shiny blue pallet that stretched as far as the eye could see. The worried look evaporates from their faces when the see me toddle along the path that’s leads back to the diving area. “Where were you?!” I could sense the relief of fear in her voice. “Diving, duh mom.” After that we all continued to dive into the eye bogging darkness below the rocks of the cliff. We had fun for the remainder of our vacation. Most importantly: I got over my fear of height and deep water. That was actually very fun; man...I missed out yesterday. I though that to myself as I crouched down preparing for the next leap into the unknown underwater world.

I learned a lesson over that vacation: Never let your fears run your life. Live your life to the fullest because you never know when another opportunity with the same perks my come along. I’m not completely afraid of heights anymore; I can now jump off a cliff into a reckless pool of water without even a second though. I said completely because I’m not sure I’m ready for something as extreme as skydiving, which is possibly miles above the safe Earth floor. I’m also not completely afraid of dark water; I knew there weren’t any rocks or large species of ocean fish ready for dinner. I can now say I can go swimming in the middle of the lake without thinking about how big the fish are swimming joyfully just inches away from my body. I’m not to the point yet where I can leap from a boat in the middle of an ocean and stay in the water for more than half a second though. Even though I still have little fears, I’ve gotten over a lot, and came over many, many coarse challenges.





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