Zip Lining Exhilaration
Sophie, Age 13, Doylestown, PA

With gravity failing to do its job, I hovered over the ground while the sun tries to kill me with its treacherous heat rays. As I was soaring above the treetops in Vermont and looking beneath me and seeking jagged, eroded rocks— I was extremely terrified. The tree tops—leafy green hammocks, weaved within natural canopies —concealed treasures and mysteries below. My biggest fear was being swallowed by the vast forest under me, full of lions, tigers, and bears. I imagined encountering a bear along the way and screaming bloody-murder at the top of my lungs. Feeling and knowing that there was a secure clip attached to a blue rope holding me above the ground made my fall downhill less imminent. I began to question how sturdy the safety ropes and other gadgets that were supposed to save my life really were. I mumbled in my mind, Can I trust these old things? The rigid mountain peaks of Vermont walked on the earth and tortured me to cave in. Then I thought back to the moment where I morosely considered turning back to the hotel without going through this experience. I thought, Would this even be worth it?

I reconsidered what had happened back at our resort’s lobby.

“Come on! It will be so much fun!” my mom incessantly pleaded.

“C’mon, Soph! You don’t want to be the one to miss it! Just imagine flying above the beautiful sights of Vermont!” my sister, Tori, bashfully interrupted.

“Let’s go, Soph! We can’t go without you! It’s an once-in-a-lifetime experience!” my dad bellowed.

“Fine” I reluctantly quivered, even though I was extremely terrified to go.

We had just gotten off the first rope and were impatiently waiting on the platform for the next course. We were all terrified to death to continue, but our curiosity and excitement won us over to continue. The first platform, seeming like the zenith of the world, was only roughly thirty-five to forty feet off the ground, but felt like the tippy-top of the Empire State Building. I despised the feeling of looking down and seeing how far away I was from the ground. It made me feel sick to my stomach. My mom— a blond figure holding on for her life —suddenly jilted forward and grabbed onto a branch. It snapped off unexpectedly and took a long fall down onto the sharp rocks at the bottom of the plummet. My older sister, older brother, and younger sister were all as petrified as I was. After we all examined it race to the ground and nearly crumble into little pieces, we continued on our journey to the end of the course.
We went through the same procedures, omitting the falling branches and gasps. We started to get more confident and less scared of the heights along the way. The butterflies in my stomach slowly started to calm down like their master had told them to stop because I was feeling more self-assured. Overall, I am happy and relieved that I decided to go. I no longer saw why I didn’t want to go in the first place. The feeling of the wind in my face and the earthy aroma was like no other feeling in the world and I never wanted to let it out of my grasp.

Soaring above the treetops in Vermont, peeking at the vibrant flowers all along the horizon, peering at the sun trying to wake up out of its bed along the mountain peaks, I thought to myself, I’ve never looked at the world this way. As I gazed at the radiant sunset with magenta streaks and turquoise smudges, I took a deep breath and slowly let it out through my stuffed-up nose. In the end, my fear of heights was demolished that summer day.

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