The Pinnacles of The Wall

December 20, 2010
By Kyle Chin BRONZE, Kingston, New York
Kyle Chin BRONZE, Kingston, New York
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I was never able to do a back flip, nor hold my breath for more than two minutes. I could never do a wheelie, a head spin, throw a football perfectly, kick flip on a skateboard, do a one handed pushup or even catch a fish! All these little tasks I wasn’t able to achieve, however, I was able to climb a wall behind the school cafeteria. This may not seem like the greatest accomplishment ever, and it was definitely not my best, but it was one of the most memorable and enlightening.
This ash gray wall behind the canteen stood approximately eight feet from the ground, bordering an inverted ‘V’ like staircase. On lunch breaks, my friends and I would usually loiter around that area, eating, gossiping, doing homework or juggling a soccer ball in a small dirt patch in front of the wall; a group of blithe thirteen year old boys gathered at this spot, enjoying their high school lives.
It all started with a dare.
“Hey Nicholas!” shouted one of the boys tauntingly, “I dare you to climb that wall. I bet you can’t do it.”
Nicholas felt slightly offended. This chubby boy froze, his eyebrows sinking into his nose. He just stood there, with an arrogant smirk and flared nostrils, staring at the wall. Before you knew it, he charged, running with his chest out and head up. He jumped as high as he could to reach the ridge of the wall. With his stomach slamming into the wall, he stretched his arms as high as he could, but only the tip of his fingers touched the top. He fell laughing at himself in embarrassment, scratching his head. We all started to laugh at his failed attempt to climb the wall; however, this pushed everyone to give it a try. Soon enough, each of us attempted to climb the wall, and as one made it to the top, it would only encourage others to try harder.
Several minutes passed, and gradually, more and more boys made it up that unforgiving wall. The boys at the top of the wall would try to prevent others from reaching, therefore, the more boys who made it, the harder the task. This made the task much more difficult.
Finally, I tried to climb to the top, but the boys kept pushing me down. I tried again and again, but still failed. I almost gave up; it seemed insurmountable, but I had to try one more time. After failing multiple times I figured out how to overcome and get past those boys. I knew that they would try to lift my fingers off the ledge, I knew that they would try and make me laugh or discourage me, and I knew that they would shove my head and shoulders down; so I braced myself mentally and physically. I stood back, took a deep breath, and charged towards the wall with alacrity. For some strange reason, it felt like I was running in slow motion, but yet in reality, I was running at the speed of sound!
While running, I saw people laughing. The boys at the top had fiendish looks on their faces, hands locked and loaded at their sides, ready to blast me with callous shoves, telling me that I couldn’t do it. But the surroundings blurred and the only thing in my sight was that wall. I jumped as high as I could, and at the peak of my jump, I ran a few steps up the wall like a ninja, grabbing the ledge, pulling myself up with all my might. Boys were pushing and holding me down, trying to separate my fingers, I had to pass these ‘barriers’. I clenched my fingers down on the ledge and kicked up the wall with great amount of foot power; then suddenly, I felt my body slowly ease up and over the wall and I swung my feet up over the edge. I had passed the edge of my desire. I had reached the pinnacle. Standing high over the wall, at the top of the steps, smiling radiantly, the sun glistening in my face through the verdant leaves on a nearby tree, I felt accomplished. I had conquered this task.
Every now and then, I look back at this event and its impact on my life. I have learned what it takes to endeavour and succeed. It takes determination, self-control and creativity to find ways to get past obstacles in life. It made me realize that even though life has barriers that prevent me from achieving certain entities or goals, I can still surpass them and thrive. Just as I fought my way to the top of that wall, I am ready and determined to battle my way to success. I crave for a higher education, to take one step further in life and am prepared to work under any condition. I am no Edmund Hillary, but I am the ardent boy who climbed a peak he was anxious to reach and learnt a life lesson. “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”- Edmund Hillary.

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