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Zack Reed, April 16 2020

Ascending | A story about confidence.

There is a spike of cold saliva that shoots down my throat as I gulp with a hint of uncertainty. The seams of my hostel pillow are constricted in my fists as my head generously sinks into it’s surface. Like a child, I kick the edge of the mattress and snarl to myself.

I had checked into this hostel no more than two days ago - it is simple, clean and quiet. Thinking about it now, the quietness was perhaps due to the fact that I decided to fly out to Vancouver out of season. It is my first time in Canada - let alone Vancouver - but I treated the travel as I would with any other destination; visit at the least popular time. Selfishly, this personal preference of mine was so that I could almost keep wherever I was going to for myself. Naturally, there’d be little to no tourists that might muck up the setting or leave behind any spoils. The predictive, dull holiday-maker attractions would be absent, and all would be stripped bare down to the natural necessities. That is, I had never ventured this far out without company before. All friends and family were now 4,630 miles away. I was alone.

Back in England when I excitedly booked my flight to Vancouver, the very prospect of adventuring somewhere I had never been to by myself sounded ideal - a moment of tranquility where I would discover personal attributes that I never realised I had. During the daytime, I want to take the sea ferry across to the north where stretches of mountains and forests lie just waiting to be explored. I planned to take a packed lunch with me so that I don’t waste my limited funds on boredom hunger whilst out and about. In the late afternoon, I wanted to return to my shared room, change, and perceive the evening culture of local eateries, live music and meet the locals. A test, almost, to detect if I possessed such courage that I see countless others have within themselves. Now that I’m here, I can already feel the absence of courage. I needed people. I needed my friends and family to function. My body sinks deeper into the vicinity of the mattress, and I place the beige duvet over my head until I’m completely encased in darkness.

In the dark, I do nothing. I don’t move. I barely breathe other than the staggered whims of anger and sadness. I became trapped in my room, configured of characterless grey walls and a cheap, metal wardrobe. My mind becomes flooded with thoughts such as, “Why have you done this?” or “You’re an idiot. You’ve come all this way knowing that you’re totally incapable of being by yourself.” Coming here was a reckless action. Who was I to think that I could handle a solo venture such as this? For the following hour, I continued this way of thinking. My mind invades my conscience once more and says, “Go back to the airport and buy an early ticket to England. Return to your family and friends. Reunite yourself with that comfort which you are so longing for.” It seemed the right thing to do. Retort back to my old ways and stop trying because I’m not proving anything to anyone. This entire notion has no goal or point. Connecting my phone to the WiFi, I look at the airlines to seek the next flight back home. There are many options, so it would be an easy feat.

“I could leave tonight and get back to London for tomorrow afternoon. Then I will catch a coach, sit on it for a couple of hours, and before I realised it, I would be back in a place where I knew myself.” I murmur.

The temptation grew great - I’d already selected a suitable flight and had reached the payment page of the website. All I have to do is complete the last of the required information and the deed would be done. As my thumbs begin to enter my card details, I notice that they respond to my phone screen slower and slower until they come to a complete halt. The negative thoughts that once protruded my mind froze solid and became replaced with something quite different. A different emotion. This emotion was regret. With a deep sigh, I throw my phone to the base of the bed and toss onto my back, pulling the duvet off. I stare at the ceiling with my mouth open and feel my lips and tongue begin to dry out. A kaleidoscope of possible futures beam from my iris onto the ceiling surface, somewhat like a projector implanted deep in my brain.

“If I go,” I breathe, “What will I actually accomplish?”

The answer was obvious; I would miss the fresh scents of the wilderness just a stones throw away. My senses would not be enthralled with the green of the foliage, or the fingertips of wind against my cheeks from ascending the side of a mountain. I’d never get to see the views of the city and the ocean when I reach the top. If I go, I would be forever seeing such view from a Google search behind the screen of a computer. I wouldn’t meet interesting people. I wouldn’t experience a different culture, nor would I have a story to tell when I return home. My thumbs and fingers tremble against themselves. Within a split second, I force a verdict to emit from my throat as quick as thunder.

“NO!” I shout to myself, “There is more! There has to be more! I can be more than this!”

I can’t let my mind be the cause of dismay. I can surely do this… can’t I? No, I can. I will. I scramble up and snatch my phone back, open the internet browser and quickly cancel the payment operations of the return flight. I refuse to be this person that I can outwit and prove otherwise! And with that, I undertook a desperate mission of revitalisation. Rolling out of bed, I stand and pace the floor back and forth, spinning in circles a few times. I jump up and down a bit, kneel, lunge forward and backward as if I’m following some sort of exercise regime. I don’t care. If dancing around is a successful method of shaking off negative views then I will do just that. The once thoughts of leaving my expedition prematurely were overridden with curiosity of how I will better myself. What could I do? What was I so afraid of that I could conquer and become strong? It took a few minutes of continuous dancing and jumping about to figure out what I was going to do…

…well, I never liked heights very much. Actually, allow me to rephrase that a little; I’m not fond of ‘unsecured’ heights. Whilst I enjoyed nearly any kind of rollercoaster, zip-wire or thrill seeking ride, it didn’t matter how high up I went on any of those things because I knew I was locked into something and the attraction had been tested for risks and safety. On the other hand, if I found myself at the top of a cliff, tower or bridge and observed at the plummet below, it would be a rather opposite experience of excitement and thrills. Gravity itself was a force that I felt would be enough to capture the weight of my head and drag me down to my demise. The very thought of it cooled my blood, disturbing my dance routine. It was that moment in time where it almost became clear.

“I must get over this fear.” I agreed, “If I do that, maybe I’ll find myself corrected.”

In an instant, I begin my search on the trusty internet to find a solution for the problem. I wasn’t low on options. There were plenty of thrilling choices to do in and around the district including a zip-wire adventure at Grouse Mountain. It wasn’t enough. It had to involve jumping and gravity. It had to involve not just the height, but the fall. A fall that would otherwise be undisturbed. After more scrawling through the web pages, the result that I wanted, but dreaded, took centre stage. A bungee jump.

Situated in the valley of Whistler, the jump took place on a bridge nestled in a beautiful-looking gorge. Viewing the videos of those throwing themselves off the bridge, they descended what seemed a lifetime straight down toward a rapid-rushing river. Both single jumpers and couples leapt off fearlessly with different screams, their faces infected with adrenaline, fear and joy. I wonder what expression my face would illustrate if I allowed myself to do such a venture. Could I put myself under such stress? The very image caused my spine and ribs to shudder. Nonetheless, it seemed that I had already brought myself to this challenge and the next steps was checking the availability - I could do it as early as tomorrow. I call up the office to check if this was possible.

“Yes, we have a couple of spaces for tomorrow afternoon. Can you get to our office for 1pm or 3pm?” asked the receptionist.

I hesitated briefly, and simply replied, “Okay.”

“…so, which time slot was that?”

“I… Um…” I gulped the same spike of saliva as before, “3pm. Yes, 3pm would be great.”

“Have you jumped with us before?”

“No. I’ve never done a bungee jump altogether actually.”

“Oh! I think you’ll love it!” remarked the receptionist in a giddy tone, “You’ll want to do it again and again after your first jump!”

I laughed nervously a little inside my throat at her kind attempt to make me feel better.

“Plus,” she added, “After your first jump, you’ll get a discount on all future jumps with us for life!”

“Oh! Well… that’s great!” I forced myself to speak.

“So… we’ll see you tomorrow at 3, then?”

I pause, take a deep breath, and then seal the deal giving her all the needed personal and payment information. I hung up. The deed was done. I will jump off a bridge tomorrow.

“I will jump off a bridge tomorrow…” I whispered verbally to myself.

I repeat it again, but louder, “I will jump off a bridge tomorrow!”Confirming this event by shouting it aloud made me feel a little bit better. Tomorrow would be, quite literally, a leap into a new way of life. Or so I hope.

Convincing myself that I should make the most of my evening before the big day, I dress in more presentable attire after a steaming hot shower with the left overs of the hostel’s soap and shampoo. I look into the mirror and stare straight inside the depths of my hazel eyes, internally nullifying the little fragments of concern and worry I have about heading into the city. After a hint of self persuasion, I race out of my room and the building being greeted instantly with a pleasant, salty smell of the sea. The hostel was situated no more than a five minute walk to Sunset Beach, where a small ferry allowed you to cross to Granville Island where I hear there is plenty of artistic sights and experiences, with well-stocked food markets and all fresh produce. Maybe I’ll go and visit sometime soon. But for now, my destination was the heart of Downtown. It’s about 6pm, and as it’s March the temperature is chilly but not overly so. I crown my head with my black bowler hat (which wasn’t actually mine at all - a friend had loaned the hat and I had yet to return it) and begin my journey through Granville Street. This area, and it’s surroundings, is a busy hustle and bustle of shopping throughout the day, and an equivalent number of restaurants, bars and some theatres during the night time. The gleaming lights of street lamps and signage infiltrated my eyes as I continued my march down the streets, my hands embedded in my coat pockets. I look up at a pleasantly pink sky which forms a gradual gradient into the starry night. I follow the view down and take heed of the rocky mountains ahead, their tops blanketed with heaps of snow and trees. I knew where I wanted to go - somewhere a little off the tourist map that you’d find waiting on arrival at the airport. No, none of that. I found whilst preparing for my trip what appeared to be a ‘for those that know’ style music bar, not too far way now from where I currently am. Perhaps just ten more minutes of sturdy walking.

After scrutinising the remainders of brimming nightlife, I arrive at The Railway Club. I stare at the entrance for a brief moment, taking small steps towards the door before pressing hard against the handle and swinging the way open. I jolt up the stairs, take a right turn and pay the $5 cover fee. I am presented immediately with a stage, an acoustic artist singing in a slightly husky voice whilst strumming sweet sounds on his guitar. In front of the stage, there are some plush sofas and tables which some perched upon whilst others preferred to stand. Blue, green and yellow stage lights illuminated onto people’s heads. I take a U turn to the right, where a curved bar sits featuring all kinds of Canadian beverages. Advancing beyond the bar, there is more seating, a pool table and another musician presented on a second stage via a short hallway. The club is decorated with an assortment of music posters and pieces of railway-related equipment. I took comfort. The butterflies of anxiety that once filled my stomach seemed to dissolve away, so I sat myself upon one of the bar stalls and patiently waited for service. I don’t mind how long it would take for the woman behind the bar to come and ask what I wanted. Simply, I found platitude in just taking everything in.

“Can I help you?” asks the woman.

I jumped slightly as my gaze towards the stage was broken, and turned my head to face her. She simply smiles.

I smile back, “I haven’t actually thought about what I want yet, I’m sorry!”

Working in bars and restaurants myself, I hate to appear as an indecisive time waster and so quickly scan the taps of available drinks.

“Erm, I’m new to the Canadian beer scene… I normally go for a cider but I think I’ll try something different. I’m not fussy, is there a beer you’d recommend?”

She giggled slightly before reassuring, “Sure. Leave it to me, I’ll give you a taste of this one.”

I breathe with relief at her patience with myself, and shortly she puts a small glass of liquid down in front of me. With a quick sniff and slurp, I allow the malty flavours to soothe into my tongue, before nodding with satisfaction.

“Yes! I’ll go for this one, it’s perfect.”

To this day, I still can’t remember what choice I made. Whatever it was, the flavour was fantastic. With the cold pint in my hand, I gazed back towards the musician on the first stage as he finished up his set. The audience clapped and whistled before the in-house music gained volume. People scurried away from the stage to get another drink, so I stepped off of my stall and headed back towards the stage. There wasn’t anywhere available to sit… well, there was but it would require conversing with strangers. No - people, not strangers.

“Okay. I can do this.” I breathe, “I can ask if I can just grab a seat on someone’s table. They don’t have to speak to or look at me.”

Swaying my vision left to right, there is an empty seat on a table occupied by a small group of people that seemed around my age. I hold my breath, shut one of my eyes tight and manoeuvre myself over to the table. When I’m less than a metre away, I breathe out louder than I had hoped which causes an audible moan. I try and save the situation quickly and, without paying attention to a particular individual of the group, ask my question.

“Excuse me, but would it be alright if I sat here and joined you?”

They all throw their vision towards myself, look back at each other, and then back again. My stomach sinks in dread.

I plead, “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to intrude…”

“No, not at all!” speaks one of the group, “Of course you can join us!”

The rest of the individuals nod and grant my joining with warming smiles. I quickly seat myself, placing my beer in front of me.

“I’m Rachel!” the inviting woman introduces.

I turn to face her. Long brown and blonde hair with striking ocean-blue eyes, so pure it was as if you could dive headfirst into them, made up her attributes with a glinting smile that could turn any sadness upside down. As it turns out, she’s an artist too and I checked out her amazingly detailed drawings of characters, costumes she made from scratch and illustrations that should rightly cause any mouth to gape with wonder. For the next hour or so we talk about where we’re from, what we do and she introduces her friends who also do the same. A gregarious bunch indeed. What was I so worried about? More drinks flow in, and next we watch one of the group’s friend play music on stage. We stand and cheer them on, and as we did so, I silently cheer myself for the little stroke of courage I uncovered within myself.

“Do you have any plans for your time here?” asks Rachel.

After a gulp of beer, I reply, “I’m jumping off a bridge tomorrow.”

Rachel looks around the room in concern, “…what?”

“Oh no, not in a suicidal form! I’m doing a bungee jump in Whistler.” I redefine.

“Wow, that’s pretty cool. I’ve never done that before.” Rachel said.

I shrug my shoulders, “Neither have I. Thought I’d conquer some personal… issues… whilst I’m here.”

She smiles, “Well, my friends and I do drawing sessions at a café not far from here. I don’t want to intrude on your plans, but would you like to join us for one?”

I turn away from the stage and glint into her big, blue eyes, “Absolutely! I don’t have any plans really, so that would be great. I’m sure I can pick up some pencils and paper from somewhere.”

We nod at each other in confirmation before returning our attention to the stage. My heart swarms with joy knowing that I’ve made a friend and have something else to do whilst I’m here.

Rachel leaves a little earlier, but completes our meet with a passage that I was longing to hear.

“I hope we meet again! See you at the café!” she exclaims, before we hug and I watch her slowly vanish into the city lights and shadows.

“I hope so too.” I mutter to myself.

Returning upstairs, another drink had been bought by the lovely group that invited me so warmly into their friendship. More drinks. More music. More dancing. More laughing. More drinks. More dr… more…

My fingers crawl up to my eyelids and wipe the stars away. I open my eyes only to squint them shut from the light that stabbed at my retinas. Carefully, I attempt a second time and my vision begins to crisp. I find myself under a duvet with two others slumped on this sofa bed to the right. I weakly peer over. Against the wall, there is a woman with brown, beaded hair with her face pressured into the corner breathing heavily. Between her and myself, a dreadlocked man is positioned lying on his side with his tribal tattooed arms looming behind my neck and over my chest. His eyes completed with slight eyeliner were tight shut. What happened last night? The faintest memories of dancing in a winding street returned, with neon lights thrown over our heads and the dirtiest psychedelic music infiltrating my ears (music I wouldn’t normally ‘dance’ to, but obviously the alcohol had got the better of me). Peering around the tapestry-covered studio, I dug deep into the duvet to retrieve my phone. Still interlocked in my new friend’s arms, he groans a little so I try not to disturb his slumber on a second try. I claw the phone out with my fingertips, bring it close to my vision and switch on the screen. It’s nearly 10:30 in the morning. My coach is due to leave for Whistler at 12:00pm, and I still didn’t have any idea on where the departure station was in the city! The realisations cause my lungs to boom a gasp so sudden and loud that the man and woman lurch out of bed almost in unison.

“What?! What is it?!” shouted the man in a flurry.

“I… I’m so sorry, I really must go!” I said, “I have to get to my hostel and then to the coach station in an hour and a half and I have no idea where I am or where I’m going!”

Rolling off the bed, I scramble up from the floor and hastily book any local taxi I could find. The woman kindly makes a black coffee while I impatiently wait for the taxi’s arrival, and when it does, I give the two my everlasting thanks for their hospitality before gliding into the vehicle and giving the driver the address to the hostel. As the car pulled away, I felt a pinch of regret that I did not remember the names of either host that put myself up for the night. There’s a good chance we had exchanged our names countless times over yesterday, but I just could not dig that particular thought from my memories.

The taxi arrives at the entrance of my hostel, and I lunge through the reception, quickly greeting the receptionist and shortly arrive into my room, grabbing a towel and any clean clothes I could fathom. I completed my not-so refreshment from start to finish, slapping shampoo and soap over myself whilst simultaneously brushing my teeth, before diving out the shower and towel dry my hair over-vigorously. Leaping out of the entrance once more, I power walk down Burnaby Street as I try to find the coach station, and as soon as I understand my coordinates, my power walk transforms into a sprint. It’s a half an hour walk and my coach departs in just over that, but my determination fuelled my legs and stamina to get there on time. I dart past citizens who spend their sunny Saturday in relaxed formation, enjoying brunch and steady strolls. My coach departs in ten minutes, and I exhale harshly to expel the remaining stamina as I move with such speed I never realised I could undertake. With enough efforts, I arrive in the nick of time. I scuttle through the hall to my coach entrance, produce my eTicket, and find any seat to collapse upon. Seatbelt clicked in, I laugh to myself at the achievement I had accomplished in ninety minutes - perhaps a little too loud that causes others to peer over curiously.

The coach gradually leaves the city and traverses through a plethora of mountains, woods, seas and rivers. It’s such a beautiful sight to witness, but unfortunately the consequences of too much alcohol proceeds to grind against my skull.

“Ah, the hangover is here.” I quietly sigh to myself.

Eventually, the stomach-wrenching, brain-squishing sensation becomes so tense that the very motion of the outside world passing by becomes too nauseous. I can’t look at it anymore. I succumb to taking form into a tight ball and shut my eyes tightly to try and let the feeling pass for the next couple of hours. I’m trapped on the coach. At least the travel is somewhat smooth with minimal bumps and knocks.

“Ugh, finally…” I moan in self pity as the coach pulls up to the final stop. I sway off the coach steps and onto the snowy pavement… there’s snow on the pavement! I yearned to be with the snow for so long, and finally, my presence is with it. Plodding down the pedestrianised street, I’m presented with lodge-style buildings, statues and monuments laced in gleaming icicles. But despite the beautiful surroundings, my stomach complains and hungers for food and hydration. I stumble into a supermarket and take anything off the shelf that looks remotely edible without thinking about it too much. Sushi. I purchased sushi and immediately force California rolls down my pipe, rinsing it through with some still water. Minutes later after completing the entire portion, my stomach rumbles once again with that feeling everyone has been familiar with at some point in their lives - the feeling of disagreement in the form of nausea. Sushi… what was I thinking!? Of all the things I could have consumed deemed more appropriate when hungover, I pick sushi. My hands clasp my mouth and I vault into a nearby public toilet, lock myself into a cubicle and vomit heavily. It takes at least ten minutes before I’m semi-comfortable that I will not vomit anymore before wiping my mouth with toilet paper and flushing the unpleasant remains down the drain.

After a session of redemption, I find myself at the bungee jump office and recite my booking details to the receptionist. I record my height and weight with nearby scales before I am presented with a waiver. My short breaths become deep as I read all the possible risks associated with bungee jumping; the stress it can cause to the body, possible injuries, chance of death and so on. With a few signatures here and there, I waived my rights to claim should something awful happen to myself and sat down with the rest of the jumpers as we wait for pick up. I look at the tiled floor as fear injects into the cores of my body. Slyly, I peer around at those I would join this perilous plunge with - there is a couple with their hands interlocked with one another and a very chirpy girl I end up making short conversation with. Anything to take my mind off of the inevitable.

“I’m studying nearby! I’ve never done this before, I can’t wait!” she explains with excitement - clearly her feelings towards the bungee jump differed from mine at the moment. I notice my knees tremble and try to lock them down with my arms.

A muscular man with brown eyes, shoulder-length curly hair enters the reception sporting a ‘Whistler Bungee’ teeshirt.

“Hey everyone, I’m here to take you to the bungee jump. Has everyone signed their waivers?” he questions in his gorgeous Australian accent.

Everyone nods, including a hesitant nod from myself.

“Right,” he continued, “Let’s go then!”

Stepping inside his vehicle, he quickly pulls away and accelerates from the town before diverting down a side road and whizzing past trees in a glorious valley. There is deafening silence throughout the vehicle, other than that of the occasional remarks the student creates whom I previously met, and whilst I try to pay attention to her, my focus is still targeted on controlling my fear.

“Has anyone ever jumped before?” The driver asks inquisitively.

Everyone answers with a “no”.

“It’s great, but I’ve jumped off the bridge so much now that it gets boring after a while.” He continues, “And you get a free teeshirt after! Makes it worthwhile, doesn’t it?”

I forced a laugh out, trying to illustrate a fake sense of confidence. The driver peers into my eyes through the rear mirror, and I break the trance and stare back into the depths of the valley. My hangover symptoms were still present but I seemed to be keeping them at bay.

When I clamber out of the car door, there is a rocky path shooting upwards followed by a twist, breaking my sight to see what lied at the top. Albeit, I have a very good idea what waited for me up there. To the left of the car settled a river with its waters slamming violently into rocks. I paced myself over to the bank of this raging river and followed its flow. Where did my gaze trace to? Up to a green metal bridge, suspended high in the air - higher than I imagined from the images on the website. This, undoubtably, was where I would perform my jump. At that very moment, a silhouette descended down from the middle of the bridge, enclosed with a small hut. The figure shot down so quickly that I was certain their head made contact with the surface of the river. Then, the bungee took strain and yanked them back mid-air before gravity regained control again. I couldn’t stop the fear from taking over my entire self anymore. It had become whole.

“This way, then!” the driver instructed.

I didn’t want to walk up the path anymore. I didn’t want to go anywhere, but my feet appeared to be fed with hypnotism and turned myself around, moving the rest of my body up the ascent. At present, I still do not remember the sights and sounds during the short time from the car to the branch of the bridge. I do not recall any imagery of the trees and surroundings. As hard as I try, the sounds and sensations of what emotions lingered have gone amiss. All I can recollect is the snow, steadily floating like confetti from the grey skies onto the soft ground. My feet stop moving and my legs wobble like jelly - I know where I am now but I don’t want to look. Not even a peep.

“Over here!” calls another Australian voice.

I open one eye to see an instructor, hailing me over with arm motions.

“…ok.” I reply, and with that, my feet again do the work for me.

Tiptoeing onto the bridge, I see another jumper launch themselves into the open and down - he looked no older than twelve years old. I grimace at myself internally.

“If he can do it… then so can I.” I clench my teeth.

Rejoining the rest of my group, we are now altogether in the hut at the centre of the bridge. Everyone’s eyes, including mine, are locked onto the gate in front of us. Soon this gate will open, and one of us will either be picked to go first or perhaps someone will volunteer. Oh, please, someone volunteer.

“So, who is the tallest out of all of you?” the instructor asks.

In a panic, we all look at one another to work the answer out - it becomes obvious who the tallest out of us is when all the other jumpers stare at my face as if they were staring into my soul. It’s me. I’m the bloody tallest. I’m even taller than the instructors.

“Then you will go first!” he exclaims with a finger pointed at my chest.

Uncontrollably, I try to return his instruction with enthusiasm and laugh again - the same fake laugh that I emitted in the car earlier. A harness is hooked onto my shoulders and waist, before the gate is opened with a painstaking creak. Breathe in through the nose, and out through the mouth. Repeat. Repeat again until this fear leaves. I want it to leave now!

My toes are at the edge. My hands screwed on to the railings either side. The instructor pushes my back out a little father with his finger and, with a hint of comedy, asks me to look around at the beautiful view and also at the student I met who is filming everything on her camera.

I turn back to face the bearded instructor and plead for him to push me off the edge. I can’t do it.

“Nope, no pushing allowed, you’ve got to jump yourself.” he grins.

Then the other instructors gather amongst the gate before counting down from five.





I inhale the deepest of breaths that I’ve ever managed to fill my lungs with, and without a hindrance of professionalism or majesty, I step off the edge.

At first, there was nothing. It was like space and time had paused. I could not detect any force nor hear anything. My hangover had disappeared. My eyes were squinted shut and I refused to see what I was seeing. Suddenly, time resumed and I screamed as the awesome power of gravity swallowed myself full. Eyes open, the surface of the river raced towards as I thrashed in the air. At the same time, I could feel my old self - a fearful, discouraged human - become torn away at the very seams from the platform where I leapt. In a second, the motion slowed down as the bungee cord regained strain. I was thrown up towards the bridge before descending again. And again. And again. I noticed I wasn’t screaming anymore. I was shouting in glee and happiness with a sense of pride. Enjoyment and adrenaline drove in every vein, organ and artery. My lips twisted into an uncontrollable smile - a smile I’d never perceived before. Soon, the rocking and movements slowed down and I found myself suspended between the bridge and the river. I relaxed my limbs, letting the harness hold me in this wonderful state of peace and victory. The snow melts on my cheeks as I allow nature to wither all of myself from head to toe. Finally, I let everything in.

“I did it.” I whispered to myself.

I did it. My achievement wasn’t only from dubbing my fears and taking the leap, but from the willpower to leave my old life behind and begin building the foundations of new ways of thinking. Courage, positivity, and believing in myself. Believing that I can do what I want to do.

I did it. Anyone can do it. And so can you.

Written by

Zack Reed


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