This I Believe

Lindsay - New Paris, Indiana
Entered on October 31, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem

I do not believe in turning down a dare, using a flashlight when it is dark, painting my nails in a neutral color, missing any spirit day in high school, or riding my bike using two hands. I believe in being adventurous. Looking up other words associated with being adventurous I found; daring, bold, brave, and, risky. I have come to the conclusion that life is too short to be scared, afraid, or embarrassed, avoiding these potentially precarious words.

Growing up I was a shy, quite, little chunky, blonde haired girl. I was afraid of the dark, heights, and anything that went too fast. As well as being a great big chicken, I was very uncoordinated and could hardly do a cart wheel, without getting the wind knocked out of me. My sisters and brother were completely opposite of me. They were loud, adventurous, and had a definite crazy side to them. After so many years of seeing them have so much fun doing flips off diving boards and going off ramps on their bikes, I realized they never got hurt doing any of these stunts. The family would continually bring these stories up at get-to-gathers and holidays. When they would mention these stories, people would laugh, and I always wished that I had been apart of that particular event and I felt left out.

One vacation when I was 13 years old; I put my fears behind me. That summer my family and grandparents were up in Northern Michigan camping at a place called Tippy Dam. After we explored the park for a few hours on our bikes, we found a huge rope connected to the top of a tree, that hung over the lake on the edge of the park. To the right of the rope was a fallen down tree that extended over the water about 20 ft. and was 15ft. above the surface of the lake.

My sister thinking there must be a good reason for his rope being hung here came up with the idea to walk out onto the fallen tree, have someone in the water swing the rope up to her, and then swing off of the log holding onto the rope letting go on at the highest part in the air and landing in the water. After I watched my sister and brother go a couple times I decided I wanted to go off the rope. So I climbed out of the water and started walking toward the fallen tree. After about 2 steps walking on the log, I freaked out and decided it would be safer if I sat down and scooted my way out on the log. After I got to the end of the log, my brother swung the rope up to me; I caught it and stood for awhile looking down and asked myself what I had gotten into. I had already made it to the end of the log and I knew that I didn’t want to turn around and scoot my way back to the end. So I asked myself a question that I ask myself a lot. “Really, what is the worst thing that can happen?” I thought about this and came to the conclusion that well? I could jump and slip off the rope and do a belly smacker. Knowing I have done that at least a dozen times.

I JUMPED… I swung out over the water, letting go of the rope, having a huge adrenaline rush, and landed gracefully into the water and I came up smiling. After that first time, the more I jumped the more confidence I gained. I eventually walked out on to the log without sitting down and I probably swung off that rope at least a 15 more times that day.

Keeping that day in mind, and really feeling how much fun I had, I was never afraid to try a new stunt after that. Since that day, I have been parasailing, water skiing, cliff diving, mountain climbing, swimming in November, and I have tried odd food, such as raw eggs, beaver, and fish eggs that have not been made into caviar.

Though some of my so called adventurous moments will never match what many of peers have already experienced at Goshen College I’m not going to give up. This only encourages me more to go beyond my boundaries.

Looking back at my most unforgettable recollections I have found the unforgettable ones contained times where I was adventurous and unafraid. I try to live by the motto;

Live everyday like it’s your last one, sing like no one is listening, and dance like no one is watching.

Living like this, I believe will make my life an adventurous one. And as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”