The Day That Changed My Life

October 7, 2012
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“Finally” I think to myself as I grab my backpack and rush out to the car. I finally get to go to Camp Rock Eagle. After having to listen to the stories about how much fun my sister had with her troop. I finally get to go with mine.

Even though I don’t get to go for both nights the night I’m there is my birthday and I’m really excited. I reach for my back pack and pull out the list of activities that I might do. There’s archery, canoeing, conservation, entomology, forestry, herpetology, high ropes/adventure elements, HOP! (Health is Our Pledge), lake ecology, sailing, swimming, and wildlife. I know that there are some activities that only the older girls can do like the rope thing, but I know that there are some really fun ones that I can do.

“Emily are you even listening to me?” I suddenly hear my mom say.

“What?” I ask.
“I said we’re almost at Mrs. Carrie’s house, do you have everything?” she asks.
“Yep, I have everything I need right here in my backpack.” I say patting it.
“Is your money in a safe spot?”

“Yes mom,” I reply kind of annoyed.
She doesn’t ask me anything else (or at least I don’t think she does) as we pull into Mrs. Carrie’s driveway. I jump out, and run over to the door. I stop when I’m half way there so that my mom can catch up. When she finally does, I walk with her the rest of the way to the door. We knock and my friend Catlin lets us in. I can’t tell you what happened next because honestly I don’t know, but the only thing that I do know is that I’m going to be riding in the same car as my friend Gaby, so I just follow her to the car.
I jump in the car, and I stare out the window till I can finally see the camp. It’s not much longer till I see our ummmmmmmm… cabin I guess you would call it. When our driver (who I still don’t know who it is) finally stops the car, everyone runs out and claims a bunk in our cabin (I get the top bunk of course). Also, when everyone gets settled inside we are finally told what activities we are doing. We get to do the herpetology thing, we get to go swimming, we get to do the lake ecology, and we also get to do the HOP thing. We also might to get to do some more things, but I tune out and read about each activity.
The next day goes by way too fast, I caught a tadpole during the lake thing, we ran and played during HOP, and we did a whole bunch of other stuff. Finally it’s time for herpetology. When we finally get there for the most part it goes by just as quick as the others, we see a big albino turtle whose shell is caved in, some small snakes, some small turtles, but towards the end of herpetology though time seems like it starts to slow down. We get to go into a room towards the back of the building and we see this lady holding this massive snake. She starts talking about it, but I can’t hear a word she’s saying all my attention is on the snake. When she pauses for a second I ask, “Can we hold him?” I can’t explain why, but for some reason I feel an unexplainable urge to hold the massive snake.
She’s surprised for a second when she hears my request, but after a few seconds she recovers and says, “Well I haven’t let anyone else hold him today, but then again they didn’t ask, so why not.” When she hands me the snake I can instantly feel all the raw power that it possesses. I feel every muscle is its 6-7 foot long body. I feel every muscle work as the snake moves in my arms.
I’m holding it I’m instantly transported back to when I think I was in 2nd grade. To when we were on our annual trip to Hilton Head, that year we went to some alligator thing and I got to hold an alligator that was a least as big as I was. That was the only other time that I’ve felt so much raw power, but the power wasn’t the only similarity between the two. One thing that I remember that both the alligator man and the snake lady said was that these animals were cold blooded. As I’m holding the two animals I have no clue what they are talking about, as I press them against my chest they don’t feel like the cold ones I do. Compared to the warmth of their skin mine is cold and getting colder with every second, but the sensation I feel is soon over.
I’m transported back to reality when the lady takes the snake from me, but the second it’s gone I feel like there is a gaping hole in my chest. It felt like something’s gone missing inside me, and I desperately need to get it back. Unfortunately I can’t because we have to leave shortly after. That night though I think about my flashback with the alligator, and my experience that day with the snake, and I ask myself why would anyone be afraid of either one? Everything that happened made me think about all my fears and about how silly they were. Together both of those days made me realize that there is really nothing to fear in life, and that fear just comes from things that are misunderstood or that we just can’t understand, but one thing that I could and did understand was that I had to do something. I had to at least try and fight for some of these misunderstood creatures, so I ask myself, “What are some of the most misunderstood creatures in this world?” Sharks and I think that this is where my love for sharks and other dangerous animals come from. Just experiencing those two animals made me realize the power and the beauty of all animals, and it made me realize what I need and what I want to do with my life. I hope everyone else experiences something similar sometime during their life.

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