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Taking Risks and Jumping Off Cliffs

On a bright, warm summer day, I woke up suspecting little of what was to come of the day. Unsuspectingly, I slipped on my water tolerant hiking shoes and headed out of the hotel with my family to find our hiking guide. Brandon, a Hawaiian native, who greeted us with open arms and assured us of the fun road ahead. So we set off into the tropical abyss, the scent of sweet, Hawaiian flowers and adventure dancing in the air.  Showing us the most enchanting and local sights Hawaii had to offer, Brandon never steered us wrong. He lead us through caves, showed us massive blow holes, brought us to black-sand beaches, and more. Despite his perfect record, one stop in particular made me question Brandon’s choice of direction. Pushing through the thick forestry, I was welcomed by the captivating view of a beamingly blue lagoon, but there was a slight disturbance to my peace of mind, I was looking down at the lagoon. “Brandon, why are we on a cliff? Please tell me we are only here to take in the view?” I asked, and to my horror he responded, “That wouldn’t be any fun! We’re jumping.” As soon as I was given the news, my heart sank and my chest seemingly turned to lead. As if the situation could not get any worse, my worries were greeted by the words “You first.”


Hesitantly, I slowly approached the edge of the cliff. As I neared the end of the rocky pathway to my possible demise, I watched as the pebbles beneath me shivered with my every step.  Before I had even realized, I had reached my destination. My hazel green eyes peeked from behind the edge of the cliff and widened at the sight of the long jump ahead. With my gaze fixated on the the water below, feelings of uncertainty pounded through my mind, while the feeling of nausea swept through my stomach. Below, the water rippled, daring me to take the leap with every move. As the waves grew bigger, I heard the shrieking sound of doubt encompassing me. I knew the only way to silence the screeches and to quench my desire for adventure was to jump. With two long, deep breaths I bent my knees, sailed through the open sky, and awaited my fall into the ocean’s wide embrace.
As I drifted through the open air, all of my previous doubts and worries were stripped away by the wind. For the first time, I felt free. I inched closer to the ocean’s reach, but this time I was ready to meet the ocean. With a thud, I collided with sea. As soon as my body hit the water, I could taste and even feel the salt intertwined with the water. I squeezed my eyes tight to protect them from the ocean’s salt. Deeper and deeper, I sank closer to the ocean’s floor. Lacing my fingers with the ocean’s, I started to pull my way back up to surface. As I kicked my way back to the surface, I was kissed by a plethora of small bubbles. My yearn for a breath of fresh air motivated me to swim faster, and before I knew it, the light of the world above came into view. As I broke free from the ocean’s hold on me, a beaming smile spread across my lips and thoughts of pride skipped through my mind. I had completed a task I had once considered daunting, and I could not be more proud of myself. With my head held high, I climbed the smooth rocks of cliff back to the top and was engulfed by the sounds and smiles of my cheering family. I had completed the jump.


While my leap had a great effect on me during the duration of the jump, the effects on me after were much greater. Before the jump, I felt like a minuscule girl in a world filled of daunting people, objects, and experiences. After the jump, I grew into a giant woman in a world full of exciting new people, feelings, and adventures. Also, after my leap, I had a thirst for adventure that I needed to quench. I filled my insatiable craving for adventure and thrill through trying new foods, introducing myself to new people, and more. Also, my brave action caused me to break out my shell. I was no longer afraid to be the first person to introduce myself to another or afraid to be myself. The “free”  feeling the jump gave me has remained ever since, because now, I finally feel free to be myself around everyone I meet. Overall, jumping from the cliff broke my sense of limits. Now, I feel that I can accomplish any task, no matter how big or small.


I left my hike on that warm, summer day with a lot more than just the expected tan. I had a new outlook on life itself. As I stood at the top of the cliff after my leap, I looked at Brandon, grinned, and went in for a second dive.






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