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Cliff Jumping

In: Other Topics

Submitted By lawlesslover26
Words 1576
Pages 7
Stephanie Shimkus
Ms. Hyland
English 101
15 Sept. 2010
Cliff Jumping Broken bones, internal injuries, deaths, you name it and it has probably been someone’s outcome from cliff jumping. About two months ago, I faced my biggest fear. A few friends and I decided we wanted to go on a float trip. There was six of us all together; me, my boyfriend Tommy, my three best friends Olivia, Bridget, and Jen, and Bridget’s boyfriend Mike. We drove down to Steelville, Missouri on a Monday morning. It took us over an hour to get there but we didn’t mind because we found ways to pass the time like enjoying the warm breeze and listening to music. When we got there, we waited thirty minutes for the bus to arrive. Standing in the heat felt like we were in an oven, so we tried to stay in our cars as much as possible to keep cool. Finally the buss got to our location and we loaded everything onto it. It took all six of us to carry the floats, coolers, bags of food, and our towels. As soon as we got settled on the bus we started talking about how excited we were about the float trip. So many people were talking at once that you could barely hear the person sitting next to you. It took us a good ten minutes to get to our take off spot. Trust me, ten minutes of bouncing up and down because the bus is driving down a gravel road and trying to hold all of your things at the same time becomes quite difficult. As we got off the bus, we unloaded everything and then reloaded it onto the raft. Things started to get more and more difficult to grab hold of because of the sweat dripping off our bodies. After we got everything loaded onto the raft, we started our float. As we drifted down the river, we passed some interesting sights such as cows and a deer skull. I remember relaxing in between Tommy’s legs while he rowed the raft. I felt relieved knowing I had him there to keep me safe. I looked up at him and smiled knowing that he and Mike were doing all the work while all of us girls relaxed and tanned. Because we brought so many things with us on the ridiculously small and extremely uncomfortable raft, we had to take turns lying on the sides of it. This made it even more difficult to row. I looked up at Tommy again and started to feel bad that they were doing all of the work, so I offered to help out. I obviously didn’t know what I was getting myself into because I ended up with the hardest job, in the back steering the raft. Who would have thought? My own boyfriend would make me row. We floated down the river for about an hour before we decided to stop for food. When we stopped, Tommy and I got out of the raft and opened up the food. Both of our hands went for the grapes. Because we left so early in the morning, we missed breakfast. I never heard my stomach make so much noise before. Tommy and I began to play games with the grapes. At first we just threw all of the bad grapes at someone without them knowing but that seemed a bit harsh. We ended up turning that game into “let’s see who can catch the most grapes in their mouth”. I unfortunately failed at that game so I blamed it on the thrower. After we finished our games, we hopped back on the raft and continued our way down the river. We made a few more stops before we actually made it to the cliff. Tommy had taken back his rowing job by then. He and mike placed our raft right next to the rock steps for us to climb up. The steps were extremely jagged which made it difficult to climb on them. Bridget chose to go first with Olivia and I following shortly after. Tommy decided to take a different way up. Little did we know that his way up was a lot easier than ours. As I climbed up the moss and poison ivy covered rocks I turned around and looked down. At first I thought to myself, “this is no big deal, anyone can do this”. The further up I got, I started to take back that thought. Was I feeling a bit too brave? Sure it seemed like fun from the water, but as soon as I got on top of the cliff I realized I had made a big mistake. Looking over the edge I felt as if my heart had stopped. A mere twenty feet jump down seemed like a hundred feet to me. I still wanted to jump though. I honestly had no choice. Jumping became my only way off the cliff. I started to feel weak at the knees. My stomach dropped and I began to feel light headed. Horrible thought kept running through my head. Would I jump our far enough? Was the water deep enough? What if I didn’t come up or the undertow kept me under? Tommy could sense my nervousness. He placed his hands on my shoulders and said, “Babe, you’re going to be fine. I will jump first and wait for you at the bottom.” “Do you promise” I asked him? “Would I lie to you?” “No”. I watched him run and jump off the cliff like it was the easiest thing he has ever done in his life. I still couldn’t do it. Bridget was next in line to jump off. When I told her I couldn’t do it she said, “Watch me jump first and show you how far you should jump out”. I nodded my head with fear in my eyes and watched her jump off the cliff. I started to shake, still too nervous to jump. Down in the water, I heard my friends yelling up to me. “You’re going to be fine Steph!” “We won’t let anything bad happen to you”. Tommy yelled up, “Babe, I’m right here, don’t worry about anything, just jump”. Taking a deep breath, I ran towards the edge of the cliff and leaped off. I felt such a rush come over me. The feeling of the wind blowing through my hair and free falling felt amazing. My heart was racing and it felt like my stomach had defied gravity. I couldn’t hear anything except for my heart beat in my head. The only thing I could see was the water quickly getting closer to me. Free falling felt exhilarating. I held my nose on the way down so I didn’t choke on the murky river water. I splashed into the water in a cannonball position. Nobody had told me that I should go into the water completely straight. The impact of hitting the water felt just as painful as diving off a diving board expecting to do a dive, but instead doing a belly flop. I felt excruciating pain all over my body as I sank down into the water. It was all I could think about at first until I noticed I was under water. I pushed off the sandy bottom of the river and shot straight up to the top for air. When I popped my head out of the water, Tommy started to swim over to me. “How do you feel?” he asked me. I couldn’t make a sound at first. My brain knew I was fine but my body was still in the fight or flight process. After a few seconds of staring at him and shivering because of how cold the water felt, I finally got a reply out. “I feel fine” I said. He looked at me funny. “Are you sure?” he asked. In reply I nodded my head and swam over to him. He hugged me and told me how brave I was to actually jump. I felt proud knowing I overcame my fear. Still shaking because of the intensity of the jump, I swam back to the raft, which was quite difficult. As I got closer to it, my friends decided they wanted to be funny and start rowing away from me. I yelled at them to come back. When I finally caught up to them, I tried to get in. because of the deep water it felt like it took forever for Mike and Jen to pull me into the raft. When I finally got into it, I was overwhelmed with excitement. Jen wouldn’t stop asking me if she should jump too. I told her she should and she got out of the raft and swam to the rock steps. I watched her climb up the steps, she looked like she was getting nervous. I yelled up to her that she would be fine. She went through the same nervousness as I did but jumped a lot quicker than me. She swam over to the raft and stated, “I am never doing that again even if you beg me to”. I agreed with her and we pulled her back into the raft to continue our trip. I have never felt more proud of myself.

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