This I Believe

Lea - Altamont, New York
Entered on January 9, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Living Life

Lea C

In life, many opportunities come to you. You can either take them or let them pass. I believe that you should live life to the fullest and take risks. Life sometimes makes decisions hard but in my 13 years of life, I’ve learned that I’ll take my chances.

One summer when I was 11, my family and I went on an RVing family vacation to Colorado. We went white water rafting with my uncle and his friends. We got to this one point and we all looked up. My uncle said, “This is it. This is the spot.” We all got off the boat and saw the cliff. “Let’s jump.”

It looked huge. The cliff was probably 30ft but it seemed like it was 1,000,000ft. The cliff had buses filling it up and there was a hot springs across the river. There was a path along the side of the hill. We were all pretty nervous.

We climbed up the hill and got to the top. I was asking myself, WHAT AM I DOING JUMPING OFF A CLIFF INTO WATER?!?!? I was at the top with my adrenalin pumping. There was no turning back. I got in the line of jumpers as I thought to myself, “I’m crazy!”

One by one my uncle’s friends jumped off. My sister went, then my brother. I could heard them scream then hit the water. I was next. As my uncle was buckling my life jacket, it felt like I was tying my shoes before a cross country race. I walked to the edge of the cliff as though I was walking to the biggest test of the year. They all told me “DON”T LOOK DOWN!” But I had to. It was so far. My stomach was in knots. My mom was sitting in the raft and everyone was cheering me on down below. At that moment, I knew I needed to jump.

I turned around and looked at everyone watching. My uncle yelled, “1, 2, 3… JUMP!” I took a deep breath and jumped. All I could do was scream. It felt like one of those dreams where you keep falling and falling and falling… Then I hit the water HARD! It would’ve hurt if my adrenalin wasn’t so high. I swam to shore and took off my life jacket. It was warm in the sun and the cliff looked beautiful from the water. Looking back on it now, if I didn’t jump off it and take the chance, then I would totally regret it. When would I ever get that chance again?

Taking adventures gives me thrills. Some people search the world to find thrills and adventures. To me, life is boring without living life to the fullest. Your life doesn’t go on forever so you should be “in the moment.” With the friends that I have, the sports that I do and the risks that I take, my 13 years of life feels pretty good. Some people take risks for their career. I take risks to do well at things I love to do like running and entertaining my friends. I believe that people live life to the fullest because what other way will you live it to make your dreams come true?