The Rise in My Fall

Free Response


There’s something about falling. That feeling of weightlessness, those butterflies tickling the insides of my stomach, the uncertainty that comes with willingly letting go… I crave it. There is nothing in the world that excites me as much as hurling myself off the edge into something new.

I suppose that’s how, ten days into a very hot North Carolinian August, I found myself on a set of abandoned railroad tracks thirty-five feet above Lake Gaston. I was nervous, but in the best way possible. The dirt path from our boat up to the bridge was strewn with sharp rocks and empty beer bottles, the sun-heated tar on the tracks boiled beneath my bare feet. Slatted boards revealed hints of blue water far below me. My best friend’s hand was wrapped tightly around mine, countering my anxiety as I climbed up to the edge.

I hesitated for a minute before I leapt. Against the advice of every (sensible) adult I know, I was spontaneously jumping off a bridge with my friends. Looking down, I swallowed the self-doubt that was threatening to paralyze me. I considered the ecstasy I was about to feel. I was determined not to let fear get to me, because I know myself well enough to expect that I would regret not jumping. I knew how proud I would feel...

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