Jumping off a Cliff

March 1, 2009
By Sarah Hartzheim BRONZE, Greenbrier, Tennessee
Sarah Hartzheim BRONZE, Greenbrier, Tennessee
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

'If all of your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump off too?'
Maybe, or maybe not. Perhaps I would suddenly realize that solid ground can make me a lot happier than even the most exhilarating few seconds of free-fall. Good choice. This clich' phrase used by countless parents to keep their teenage kids from doing the same reckless activities their friends do has a powerful effect, as the general belief is that jumping off a cliff is rash, pointless, and downright dumb.
But, what if I did jump? Transport to a different cliff: not one built of peer pressure, but one of risk, of challenging me to new heights. This is the mountain I have built up over years, boulders stacked upon boulders of fear and nervousness. I am jumping off the cliff that not a single one of my friends has ever jumping off of, and being the lone diver makes it all the more refreshing.
Where did I find this cliff? I found it in the places I least wanted to go. Places like a stage, when I was too afraid to try acting. Places like a soccer field, where I was too nervous about letting down teammates to even try out. These cliffs, the highest ones, are where I find myself being so scared that I have to crawl to the edge, worried that a sudden gust of wind might blow me off the peak. In this sense, these are the worst cliffs of them all: they are too high, too steep, too rocky, and too undiscovered.
Yet, I imagine staring at the drop, getting a running start, and jumping off that cliff with all my strength and energy! Falling through the air, with the force of the wind pushing against me, drowning out all aspects of my fear, I would experience the most exhilarating free-fall. By the time I reach the bottom, my original fear of failure or embarrassment is gone, somewhere hundreds of feet above me at the top of the cliff. I have fallen such a great height, yet somehow feel higher than I ever have before.
So who said all cliff jumps were bad? Let's jump.

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