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GracePansze

ALeapofFaith

Ioncewentrockclimbing.IclimbedupanduptheartificialrockandwhenIreachedthe
top,Iclimbeddownanddownuntilmyfeetwerefirmlyplantedonsolidground,nottrustingthe
belaytolowerme.Backinthefifthgrade,Isplitmylipjumpingoffatreehouseontoanold
trampoline.Beforethat,whenIswamontheswimteam,Iwouldntjumpoffofthehighdive,
notafraidtomakethelongtrekup,buttoavoidthedreadedfreefalldownintothedeepdepths
oftherecreationalswimmingpool.Whatifallofthewatersuddenlydisappeared?WhatifI
neverstoppedfalling?ThesequestionsplaguedmymindasIstoodatop
TheDreamweaver
in
thesummerof2013.
TheDreamweaver
isafamilyfriendshouseboatthatweliveonwhenwe
gotoLakePowellforaweekeverysummer.Similartomosthouseboats,
TheDreamweaver
,
equippedwithatrustyslideanddivingboardoffthebackendprovidedlivelyandendless
entertainment.Mybrother,Derek,didflipsandtricksonthedivingboardandintothelake
wherehewasgreetedwithalargesplashandtherefreshingsensationofdeepgreenlakewater
shieldinghisfreckledskinfromthehotsummersun.Hehootedandholleredwhentheotherkids
joinedhim,cannonballingintothelake,andsplishsplashingaroundwhileIstoodatoptheboat
near
TheDreamweavers
edgethoughtfullypickingatthefadingblueandpurplefabriconthe
sunshade,enviousoftheircouragetomakethejump.Ididntneedtojumptohavefun.Illshow
them.
Hey,Derek!Passmethesquirtgun!Icheered,laughing.
Notuntilyoujumpin,noob!Hetauntedback.
Whydontyoucomegiveittome?Iretorted,andheshookhisheadfrombelow.I
sighedandwalkedovertothedivingboard.WhenIlookeddownovertheedgethetenfootdrop
multipliedtoonehundredfeetintothedepthsofmurkywater.
Ohno!Nottoday!Imtoo
young,itsnotmytime!
Myvoiceofreasonableconsciousnesssupplied.

Iranbacktothe
railing,grippingsotightlythatmyknucklesturnedaswhiteasthesunscreenbatteringmyface.
IfIdidntjump,Derekwouldhavetheunfortunatesatisfactionofteasingme.Butwhatifatthe
exactmomentIjumped,gravityreversedandIwentflyingintoouterspace?Iwonderedifaliens
haddivingboards.Ihopednot.
Grace!Hurry!Cmon,jumpin!Youwantthesquirtgun,dontyou?Derekchallenged,
sendingspecklesofwatertowardsmewiththewavingneonwatercannon.Afterstickingmy
tongueoutatDerek,Itookadeepbreath,closedmyeyes,andletgooftherailing.
IthinkIcan.
IthinkIcan.IthinkIcan.
MytrustychildhoodmantrahadneverfailedmebeforeandIwas
confidentthatIcouldrelyonittosafelyguidemeonmyjourneyfromthedivingboardintothe
water.IftheLittleBlueEnginecouldsummitthehill,Icouldletgravitydoitsmagic.I
musteredallofmycourageandtookashakystepforward.Ihadnotoystocheermeon,notasty
foodtogettothechildren.IonlyhadtheuncertainvoiceinheadtellingmethatifIjumpedtoo
farandlandedonanunseenrockbelowthesurfacethatIwouldbefishfood.Ididntwanttobe
fishfood.Ipossessedthepowertoovercomemyfear.
IthinkIcan.
Itookamoreconfidentstep.
Icoulddothis.
IthinkIcan
.ThenIjumped.Iopenedmyeyesandscreamed.Iwasfalling!
I
wasfalling!
No,Iwasflying!Ispreadmyarmsandflappedthem,notcaringthatIresembleda
flailingbird.Icouldfly,IwasflSMACK!Ihadbellyfloppedandswallowedafewmouthfuls
oflakewater.WhenIresurfaced,despitesputteringandcoughingandholdingmybrightredand
burningtummy,Icouldnthelpbutsmile.Ididit!Ilaughedwithsomuchvigorthatafewfish
scattered,swimmingrapidlyaway.Ijumped,allbecause
IthoughtIcould.IthoughtIcould.


GracePansze

ALeapofFaith

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