Amazing Kids! Magazine

To the Top

By Sam Zawaly, grade 8, Ohio


“Wow,” I said.

The mountain I analyzed was a lot bigger than my dad described. It had a lot of trees and a little creek I could see from the bottom. I couldn’t even see the top from where I was standing. I was in Colorado with my dad for vacation. We wanted to go hike a mountain, but when I got to it, I was not sure if I could do it. I kept staring at the top. I suddenly realized I was already climbing the mountain.

It wasn’t very warm out; it was about 70 degrees. It wasn’t too hot or too cold. The altitude, though, didn’t help my drive to get to the top. I started to have second thoughts and tell my dad that I wanted to turn back. Soon enough, it was too late to turn back. I was supposed to be looking around and seeing all the great scenery, but I was too focused on not fainting. I had no clue that the altitude would be so much different than mine back home. I looked back, saw a little dog trotting up the mountain, and thought to myself, Maybe I can do this. I am not going to let that little dog beat me up the mountain.

Every time it felt like it was the end, I had a lot left to go. I was struggling to keep up with my dad. I kept on looking back at the dog and seeing it not to be fazed at all. The sweat dripping down my face was burning my eyes, so I slicked my hair back. I had always had long hair, but it was really long now, so if I didn’t slick my hair up, I think my eyes would have burned off. My legs felt like Jell-O, but I kept on pushing up the mountain. I was scared that I might not be able to do it. My legs kept on wobbling, and I fell. For about five seconds, I was lying on the ground looking up at the trees. The ground was rough. I really didn’t know if I could conquer the mountain. My dad helped me up. Then I remembered when my basketball team was down late and I scored the game-winning shot. I didn’t let the other team beat us, so I said to myself that I wasn’t going to let this mountain beat me. I wasn’t going to let it conquer me. I thought about some people who fought against world hunger or slaves who had to run for 20 miles straight. If those people could do those things, I sure as heck could climb this mountain. So, I started to pick up my pace, and soon I was going past my dad.

My dad said, “Slow down, Sam, you’re making me look bad.” Then, the cramps hit me like a truck. I felt a sharp pain, and I just wanted to lie down on the mountain and fall asleep.

I whined to my dad about my cramps, and he said suck it up. So, I pretty much had a choice to be stuck in the middle of a mountain or to keep on pushing up the mountain. My dad told me that there was a restaurant at the top and it had a bungee jump, rock-climbing wall, and a free gondola ride down. I now had an extra motivation. I had to forget about my cramp and keep on going. Every time there was a little hill, you had to go up, which looked like the top but wasn’t the top. In the back of my head, I knew I was closing in on the top. When I started to see buildings, I knew I had made it. I could hear people talking and screaming. About five minutes later, I had finally made it to the top. Although I was dirty and sweaty, I didn’t care one bit because I was so elated of myself for finishing the mountain. I figured out I could do anything I put my mind to. I hadn’t felt so good in a while. I was so proud of myself.

When we got to the place on top, I had a brownie and a Gatorade. The brownie was bigger than my face and was super rewarding. My dad got a beer and said it was the best beer he had ever had in his life. I thought that was pretty funny. After all, it wasn’t so bad climbing the mountain. The next time I go through a struggle that I can’t seem to conquer, I will remember how I got past this mountain. Now I know I can do anything I put my mind to.