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The Top This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   A bead of sweat rolls off my forehead, landing on therocks far below. The sun's rays burst through the clouds, casting a fierce lightupon the brilliant blue sky.

My face burns. Soon a gentle breeze picks up,cooling my sunburnt face and aching body. To my left, the waters of a pristinelake lie still. Below, the towering trees sway gently in the sudden afternoonbreeze, their leaves rustling. I look up and realize I still have a long way togo before reaching the top.

The bullying peak stands cold and menacing,looming high above me. I take a deep breath. My hands are sore, torn and bloodyfrom the jagged rocks I have been grasping. My body yearns for rest. I almostwish I could stop here, give up, turn back.

This is not an option. I knowI have not come this far to give up. Turning back would mean continuing to wonderwhat it feels like to reach the top. I will experience that overwhelmingaccomplishment. I have a goal, and I will grab hold of it. I will reach thetop.

I have a newfound confidence. A fresh burst of energy overcomes me. Ireach for another rock, grit my teeth and pull myself up. The mountain is stillstrong, but I am stronger. With every step closer to the top, I feel morepowerful, more confident. I use all my strength. I can conquer this mountain. Iwill not be defeated. I have won.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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