25 Feet Up

August 23, 2013
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I knew it was dangerous, but I would have regretted it if I hadn't done it. Adrenaline was pumping through my veins, my hands and legs were shaking as if it was wintertime. The water was cold, as I swam across the quarry to get to the other side. I floated on my back for a while, and looked up at the tall cliffs above me, with their jagged rocky sides, I knew I had to do it. The wooden ladder crushed my fingers between it and the rocks. On top of the cliffs, there was many men and very few girls. I watched as one flipped into the air off of the cliff, and landed deep in the water. When he surfaced he yelled up to his friends, who were nervously looking over the side. I climbed up and up, for what seemed like hours but only took a mere two minutes. The number 25 was etched into the rock surface, followed by feet up, meaning the cliff was 25 feet up from the water. As I climbed closer and closer to the edge, I saw how high it truly was.

“Dude, look at that girl! She must be like fourteen or something, and she’s gonna do it!” I heard a few of the guys say. I knew I had to do it now. One of my friends had already jumped, and was waiting on the side for me.

“C’mon Chloe! You can do it! The water isn't that cold,” she said with a slight sneer. I had the guys who had been standing by the cliff move out of my way, at that point I must have been standing there--on top of the cliff for 20 minutes. I backed up and took a running start, and right as I was about to jump, I stopped. This is too dangerous...What if I don’t jump far enough away from the cliff? Then what happens? I asked myself many questions. I was thinking about it too much. I remember something that my softball coach used to tell me before pitching, “ Don’t think about it too much, cause if you do you’ll give yourself enough time to be talked out of it,” I thought about that as I once again looked down and saw how high up I was.

“Chloe! Are you going to do it or not?” my friend called up.

“Uh, yeah I will, um...I just need a few more minutes,” I yelled down. This is the most dangerous thing i've done...ever. Many people that were on the top of the cliff before, had now long jumped off, and had already made their way back up to the cliff. There were people doing front flips, and backflips, and I had still yet to jump off, just one time. I knew it was dangerous, but I had to do it. The sun had been covered by a cloud, and the wind had picked up. My already wet hair touched my neck, sending a shiver down my body. I backed up all the way to where the trees met the cliff in order for me to jump far enough away from the cliff. I ran towards the side, trying not to think at all, I just let every worry in my mind go. By this time, everyone who had already cheered for me before were doing the same thing now. They all screamed my name, and then I did it. I was free falling off of the 25 foot cliff. I felt like I was flying, but then my dream was over. I plunged deep into the shockingly cold water, and pushed against the water with my hands, to come up. I took a deep breath of air, and heard everyone cheered and clapping for me. I made my way over to the side, where my friend was sitting.

“You did it!” she yelled.

“Yeah, I guess I did, and it was really fun!” I said to her. I knew it was dangerous, but if I hadn't done it, I would have regretted it. It took me awhile to conquer my fear, but I finally did it. Bragging rights achieved. I imagined my teachers asking me what I did over the summer, and imagined myself telling them in front of the whole class that I went cliff jumping, then saying “Oh, did I forget to mention that the cliff was 25 feet high?” Just as I had finally sat down and dried off my friend turned and said to me,
“Wanna do it again?” I knew it was dangerous but I had to do it.

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