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I never was one to step out of this comfort zone I had built up until last Fourth of July. I had the day off and was looking forward to a great day either spending it on the river or taking your average summer adventure. A few of us spontaneously decided we should float down the river, the weather would be good for the next few hours and we figured why not.


Floats, a cooler, a patriotic bathing suit, what more could you ask for? Everything was going fine, the weather was holding out with a few random clouds, and everyone was having a great time. We stopped half way to take some pictures and then went on our way.


A little bit longer on our way I looked up and noticed that the sky was getting darker and I was getting worried that we were not going to be able to make it before the rain came, which would not have been a problem because it was just rain we were facing…boy was I wrong.


We had not gotten off the river at the spot we thought and ended up getting stuck until one friend knew a way out, he said it was the way he always went.


The group veered off to the side and made our way to the way out, little did we know it was a mucky part of the river filled with trash that lead to a cement wall. I gave one look to that wall and knew there was no way I was going to free climb it during a storm, which ended being a lot bigger and scarier than expected.


As a strike of lightning lit up the ominous sky and a clap of thunder followed, I knew that I could not stay in this water and had no other option than to climb up the wall and get over my fear. I volunteered to go first after our friend that was familiar climbed up like it was no problem, I knew I would not be able to do it if I waited and watched.


The wall had no places to put your hands or your feet so it was pretty much finding the best and easiest day possible with a help from the top. I had to kick off my new shoes that I had gotten because I was not going to be able to climb with them on. Barefoot and shaking I took a deep breath and went for it. A layer of my bathing suit got caught on what seemed like a piece of barbed wire, I was stuck, but broke free and did not care what happened, I made a few more pulls up and managed to make it to the ledge which was not comfortable for two people.


I climbed up the rock hill and found myself at the railroad tracks. Another thing for me to worry about, what if a train comes? Everyone made it back up to the top, floats left behind because there was no possible way to carry the floats with us. I looked down and saw that I was bleeding from the thigh and my foot and knew that it had to have been from the piece that caught my bathing suit. I asked for my shoes so we could start running to safety, but only one was recovered, upset and nervous, I tossed the remaining shoe off the tracks and started running. I could not believe what was happening to me, I never had something as frightening has that happen to me.


A ripped bathing suit, four floats, a pair of shoes and a cooler left behind and we eventually made it to the car.


Out of my entire life that was by far the hardest and the most riskiest thing that I have ever done. I look back and wonder how on earth I ever did something like that, but I really was left with no other options.


The thing is, it was a reminder that it is important to take risks, step out of your comfort zone whether you have the choice or not. Sometimes when things seem to difficult or I am to scared to do something, I think back on that time, the riskier part of my life, and remember that if I was able to free climb that wall during a storm, then I could do just able anything.


Summer time is all about taking chances, risks, stepping outside of that comfort zone that you become so accustomed to. You may get a few scars, but the memory of knowing you accomplished something is way more rewarding. The battle scars are always a nice touch though.


Meet Dalton Gormus:
I am a rising senior at Lynchburg College studying Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Leadership. I spend my life joyously living as Vice President of PR and Recruitment for Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority. You can most likely see me in my hammock enjoying a good book and music!


I’m Jen Glantz. I’ve been a published writer for over 13 years, spilling my words into magazines (ranging from style to scuba diving), newspapers, websites and even this one time, a speech, for someone who didn’t speak a word of English. What drives my words, my site, my writing, is the power of relating to people. I find that many people, especially young girls, feel so alone and quite often they feel embarrassed. I want to shatter those feelings! I want them to read what I write and understand that it’s okay to be a little outside of the box, but most importantly, that it is okay to just be who they are.

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