Amazing Kids! Magazine

Summit

By Griffen Wilner

 

“It’s not that high,” my courageous brother said. As soon as I stood near the base of the climb, my instructor attached his harness. He assisted me with mine and reassured me that I was perfectly secure in the harness. My mind recalled when we had to sign papers illustrating it was our fault if we died, and now part of me didn’t trust him. As I gazed at the cliff side, it seemed to weave like a loom, and it made a maze. I walked to the base feeling like I were on a death march, my stomach turning like a circus performer.

Immediately, my fingertips absorbed the feeling of the rugged rocks as I started to climb. My mind was dispatching all kinds of emergency signals telling me to turn back. However, it was too late; the people behind me had also started, and they wouldn’t let me go down. As I went higher to the summit, I forced my arms to pull and legs to push. Soon, my body quivered in fear each inch I went up. I looked down and saw that I had gained a substantial amount of distance, and my entire body clung to the wall like a kindergartener to his mother on the first day of school.

“Keep going!” my brother said out of encouragement and annoyance. I noticed that I was holding up a train of people that were yearning for me to go up the stone wall. Next, I forced myself to go up the seemingly boundless wall as I pushed back tears of fear. Then, I grabbed the next handhold, and I placed my feet on anything they could feel, for I did not want to see the fall below me. Suddenly, my feet slipped, unable to find a decent hold, and I become splayed of the cliff side. I started to hyperventilate, my hands grasping the overhang. I feared for my life, my head still neglecting the idea of looking down, my mind and body unable to let me trust the harness and let go of the wall. I forced myself to pull, but my arms were devoid of strength.

Pull, PULL! I screamed at my arms as they slowly raised my body. Before long, my feet found a good hold, and I was safe above the immense overhang. My brother gave me a nod of reassurance as I kept edging up the cliff side. Unfortunately, curiosity overwhelmed me, and I looked down and felt a mix of accomplishment and terror. On one hand, I had gained so much ground and was able to beat the physical task of getting up this high. However, it petrified me what would happen if I fell. My mind felt powerful and confident, but my arms felt weak and deteriorated. Thoughts ran through my mind of all possible bad scenarios, and I started to become loquacious. I rambled to everything and anything around me. I cursed the wall for being so high, I shrieked at my brother for making me go up, and I whispered to myself on how I was going to finish this precarious climb.

Right after, I closed my eyes and shut my mouth, noticing that my rambling and fear were only getting worse. My hand reached up, and I planted my foot. I told myself to do this again. Again. Again. I reached up again, and there was nothing there but a flat surface. Out of surprise, I reached it with my other hand and pulled myself up to it. I seemingly rolled over the top, so out of breath I didn’t even know that I was tired. In an instant, I drank from my water bottle and looked at the scene around me. My bottle dropped to the ground as my eyes captured what must be Heaven. Trees encased the land hundreds of feet below me. Lakes and rivers weaved in and out of the mountainous terrain. Meanwhile, I took in the pine smell from the trees below, and in my head, I knew that I would repeat this all again. Despite the fear of the climb, I learned that I should take risks, or I would never learn how to live life to the fullest, no matter the risk. I know that I would do this all again because it would teach me how to live outside the rest of people and be more confident in what I do. And as I climbed down the cliff side, I felt the greatest sense of accomplishment and said, “What are we climbing next?”

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