October 28, 2008
By Ian Hall, Rockford, MI

I stood at the bottom, asking myself, should I? Wondering what would happen if I did. My imagination was going crazy thinking up all different ways I could die. I looked up to the top. Wow, if I fell it would be a long way down. I could break my leg, maybe even break my neck. I shivered at that thought. One part of my brain thought just do it and get it over with, it looks like a lot of fun. The other half of my brain thought oh yeah, breaking your neck will be so much fun. The zip line assistant asked me if I wanted to go on the zip line. I didn't hear her, my brain was in another world. Again, she asked me. This time I heard her and blurted out the first word in my head "Yes."

I learned that the name of the assistant was Marie. Marie explained each step. She put all the zip line gear on me. The safety climbing rope was given to me next and I was told to slide it beside me on the ladder. More people were waiting at the top to give me yet another set of instructions. I looked up at the ladder, and slowly began my approach to the top.

My hands were all sweaty and my legs were uncontrollably shaking. I had to go up slow so I could bring the climbing rope with me, not that I would dare to go faster anyway. Once I made it to the middle of the ladder the numb, shaking feeling in my legs started to fade away. Suddenly I felt more comfortable on the ladder until I made the mistake of looking down. I was so high. The sight instantly made me dizzy. Everyone looked so small, microscopic.

Finally, after psyching myself up, I made it to the top. Just like Marie said, there was a person waiting for me. I didn't get to know her name because the instant she saw me, she took off my old equipment and replaced it with new. Before I realized it, she hooked me up to the zip line. She instructed me to run and jump off and gave the thumbs up sign to her spotter at the bottom.

Run and jump off? Are you crazy, I thought. As if she could read my mind she said "You've got to do it sometime, why not now?" After pausing I ran and jumped. WHOOSH was the first sound I heard. The wind threatened to tear my face off. It blew my hair back and pelted bugs at my face. Although I was safely secured onto the zip line, I hung on for dear life, just in case. It felt like I would never stop. Then I stopped. A person came and took me off the zip line. "It looks like you had fun" she said. My eyes were teary, my throat was sore but, I manage to say a few words, "Yes, I did."

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