We float down the placid, muggy creek in tubes and come across an aged, worn out swinging rope. My God sister, eager at the opportunity, is one of the first to clasp the rope and crash land into the water. I strive to be as adventurous as she is. Mud clashes against me when I spring out of my tube, gripping my feet. Slowly but surely I make my way over to the ledge with the swinging rope. The monster of mud and water releases my feet. I hurl my body up with the assistance of my reliable sister and the rough, damp swinging rope. My sister leaps off with an obnoxious crash. It’s my turn, but my anxiety tells me I could die from this and that I am never going to be brave enough. One after another, everyone takes a turn at the thrill, but I cannot get myself to simply jump.
“Kristin, you’ve been standing on the ledge for over twenty minutes! Just jump into the water already!” my family attempts to encourage me. The once soaked, reeking mud and clay begins to stick to my body as it dries. My sister sits on the cool rock next to me with hope in her eyes.
“Just give it to God and go for it!” she beams. I rise to my feet again. Gripping the worn down rope, my hands turn pale. The muddy goo on the ledge creates a slippery surface under my feet. Next thing I know my feet break free from the comfort of the ground and I’m in the air with only a rope to keep me steady. The wind pushes my hair back on the way down. In an instant I loosen my grip and slam into the cold rush of the creek water. Adrenaline reaches my core as everyone cheers me on. I look up at the tranquil, bright blue sky, absorbing how alive I feel. There isn’t time to do it again, but experiencing what it’s like to be brave is more than I could ask for. At this point I am still covered in mud and the sun burn I’ve developed from earlier stings. Despite the pain I can’t help but have a gleaming smile on my face. We hop on our tubes again and float down the calm, muddy creek with wispy clouds overhead.