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A leap of faith makes for a good essay

by By Magnus Connor Magnuson
| March 1, 2023 2:00 AM

Students in Ms. Robbins’ 7th Grade English classes wrote Personal Narrative Essays, which are true stories about a meaningful experience in their lives. It could be a big or small moment. We focused on what we now know, realize, or understand about life as a result of these experiences. 

Have you ever had those fears that kept you from doing so many things? Like the fear of heights? Or maybe those sky high roller coasters you see at Six Flags? How about public speaking? Well, I’m about to tell you the story of how I took advantage of my fear and smashed it into a million pieces. And maybe by the end of this you could do the same and smash your fears, too.

I felt the sweat against my forehead as they triggered my heartbeats to go faster. I felt the shakiness in my hands and the tilts on my eyebrows. The water below me was a question I had wanted to ask forever. Is this safe? 

My friends Whit, CJ, Gabe, and I climbed up the steep rocks onto the bridge. The Middle Fork River reflected against the beating sun. The bridge peered over the water like Goliath over David. Whit, CJ and Gabe didn’t seem hesitant to get on the bridge at all as they trotted along the concrete structure. Normally, I love doing adventurous things, but was I even ready for this one?

I looked down to see my mom sitting in the seafoam raft right next to Cory’s tangerine orange raft. The looks on their faces seemed more happy than concerned. Shouldn’t they be concerned about us possibly dying? Emotions began to trigger my brain as we climbed over the glossy metal rails.

This exact moment made me question my decision making. Am I stupid? Is this even worth it? What should I do? I knew I was gonna be sent to Jesus if I committed this jump. 

So what should I do?

Gabe and CJ took the leap of a frog into the river. Cold water appeared to fly across the horizon. Whit jumped next, and I felt the pit in my stomach grow even larger than normal. I felt like I wasn’t able to exceed what my friends have accomplished as Whit left me with a leap. The water soared across the baby blue horizon once again as Whit dove into the river. I thought about the river water as it soared through the air like an F18 fighter jet. The cheers from the families below became deafening as Whit shot up from the great below. 

“Get down here!” Whit said with his jolly voice.

“One sec!” I exclaimed as my throat shook.

I stretched out my feet and looked below. The old rusty bridge was 35 feet tall, but at that moment it felt like I was standing on top of the Empire State building. I closed my eyes and thought about it. I asked myself:  Am I a chicken? Do I only live once? I saw the eyes of fellow friends and family members peering at my sweaty forehead. My palms were sweaty as I grasped the shiny metal rail with the most strength I had. I looked up at the sky and stated my thoughts to the man upstairs. Then, I took a deep breath and…

Splash! The river sucked me down into its dungeon below. I felt myself recover from the fall and breathe in the fresh air of Glacier. Cold water ran down my cheeks as I sighed with relief.  I looked above me to see the humongous bridge and its shadow looming over me. 

I did it. I did it! I swam to the rocks as my beloved friends waited for me. I gave them each a dap of respect, and we continued our journey across the shiny Middle Fork river.

After that experience I realized that life is short, and you only live once. I also tackled my fears like Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants. I began to test my limits and enjoy the time I have. So, look at your fear right in the eyes. Look at how they have held you back; smash your fears into millions of pieces.