Taking chances

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Water lapped loudly against the rock walls of the small gorge as Chris leaped from the twenty foot high spot on which we had laid our stuff. He landed with a splash, and surfaced, yelling, “C’mon guys! this is awesome!”

My legs trembled as I stood on the edge, hunched over, looking at the water. I could just imagine the loud smack as I fell into the sure to be icy water. But everyone else was laughing and jumping as though the fall was no more than bouncing off a diving board.

Why couldn’t I be like that? Just imagine it as if I’m jumping off the diving board at my neighbor’s pool. I took a deep breath, then found a flat spot near the edge. Emma watched me, mouth agape.

“Jump out far, so you don’t hit the rocks!” cried Chris from the other side.

I couldn’t manage an answer.

I. Jumped. Down. Splash.

When my head bobbed up, I felt like saying, “Yikes!” or something. Maybe because I felt like I had just won the Nobel Peace Prize, or become the Queen of the World. Or maybe because the water was freezing. My whole body trembled from the temperature, and my excitement at my feat as I dog-paddled over the worn rock bank.

For the better part of an hour, I spent my time leaping into the water, trying to convince Emma and Sariel to jump with me, to take a chance and plunge into the cold water. It was as I though I had crossed a barrier between fear and fun, though I still felt that little pang of fright as I prepared to jump, then went rocketing down to the water beneath me.

I can still remember that afternoon in New Hampshire, at my first ever overnight camp. I loved it with a passion, and plan to do it again this year.

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