The engine of my boat relaxes to a mere hum like the purr of a cat as we settle in a tight cove. The splash of the anchor excites me as I throw on my life jacket, clipping each buckle as fast as my little hands will let me. After begging and pleading, my dad finally says the words I've been waiting to hear all day; "Go ahead."
At the sound of his voice, I climb to the bow of the boat and dive into the murky water. It touches me with cold but welcoming hands, however I could not be more relieved to reach the jagged rocks, a place where lizards bask in the sun; a place I was ready to join the lizards at. I step on slimy moss and fall back in shock, and I hear giggles from my brother. I hide my face in embarrassment, but nothing can ruin this moment. My fingers grasp the hot rock and I place my feet on the smallest ledge to pull myself out of the water. And I climb. Every tug upwards makes me feel like a strong mountain climber. And you would think little 8 year old me would be afraid when pebbles fall from under my toes 15 feet up. But I don't look down, and fear cannot even tempt me.
As I reach the top of the cliff, I finally rise from my scraped and bleeding knees to a shaky stance. I look around at eye level to see the brown boulders larger than the sky (so it seemed in my young mind), and the water that stretches from one end of forever to the other. I parade to the highest point of the rock and look down.
For the first time this day, fear strikes me like a lightning bolt on a metal rod. My breath is taken away by the heights I have reached. I begin to think to myself, "I can't." But I didn't make what seemed like an olympian's journey to only get a silver medal! And that's when "I can't," turned into, "I can't back down."
And that was when it was time to jump.