This I Believe

carolyn - Carrollton, Texas
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I Believe in Failing

One of the greatest fears today is failing. You can’t climb that mountain it’s too big, or you can’t reach that high shelf it’s too far away. People say “When you fall off the horse you have to get back on.” But what if people are too afraid to get on to begin with? That is why I believe in failing. At summer camp I failed, only so I could succeed. At the camp it came to do the high ropes course. I had no intention of going up 50 feet in the middle of the woods on a rickety old log, then on wires a half inch thick. Another girl in the cabin was afraid of heights, and when the counselor tried to convince her to go she looked at me hoping I would help her out. The words blurted out of my mouth before I could stop myself: “What if I went before you?” She stared at me. Inside I desperately hoped that she would say no. She didn’t. So on went the harness. On went the helmet, on went the belay, and on I went to fail. I climbed up to the stiff slanted log. This was the only part of the course that had nothing to hold on to. “Only five steps away!” Cried the counselor to me. One, my legs were rubber, two, my knees shaking, three I remembered “If you should fall, the Lord will send angels so that your foot will not strike the stone.” Four I slipped, my hand groped hot air. As I was falling, no, plummeting down, down, and just as I looked up to God my navel was jerked up. The harness had done its job. I looked down and gave my friend the thumbs up, still reluctant, I had to go again. One, legs fine, two, knees springy. Three, what if I failed to show them nothing would happen again? Four, yes I think that would work. Five, my arm shot up as if rehearsed, scraping the cold steel wire. Plummeting, farther this time, 50 feet, 48 feet, 45 SNAP! Oh no…I thought I had failed for the last time, good bye cruel world! Oh…I’m still hanging here. I looked at my friend and she looked at me. After I was lowered to the ground it was her turn. “Sorry you fell Carolyn.” The councilor said trying to comfort me. “I’m not.” I replied with a sly smile. She gave me a confused look. “If I had stayed on the beam, do you really think that she would have climbed after me?” All it took was one person to fail to stop another from fearing it. Which just goes to say, if you are afraid to get on the horse, get on just to get knocked off.