Falling into a Lesson

The three point rule. It’s a simple set of instructions that everyone should follow: Always have at least two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot, on the cliff while climbing. It’s a simple rule that I simply didn’t follow. Let me take you back. It was a blazing hot summer day at Lake Havasu, Arizona.

My family and I were enjoying our annual trip to the lake, when at one point we got on the boat, and headed over to the cliffs. Cliff jumping is a “must” in my family. It’s fun and it gives a sudden rush of adrenaline that can last the rest of the day. As a veteran to the sport, I knew exactly what to do so nothing went wrong, or so I thought. We pulled up and I gazed up at the giant cliff, standing tall over the beautiful blue water.

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As my dad turned off the engine to the boat he announced his routine line, “Now let’s not have any injuries this year!” I dove off the boat and let the cool water surround me. My friends and family jumped in after me, and we swam to the bottom of the cliff. I looked back to see some who had stayed on the boat, one of them including my dad. /some of my brothers went ahead of me, and then I climbed up the side. The nice thing about where we jump is that there is a path on the side of the cliff.

You can follow the well-planned path until you get to the height you want to jump from. I got to a decent level, and headed off the path into the rocks. I climbed over and around the hot rocks, got to the edge, and jumped in. The feeling of excitement overcame me. It was just perfect. I watched my siblings jump, and started back up for another go.

I continued this pattern four different times with nothing going wrong. The fifth time is where I went wrong. For the fifth time, I climbed up the cliff. I should’ve thought more carefully about where I stepped, and where my hands were for support. I was walking over the rocky part of the cliff, without my hands touching the ground to stabilize me.

And then, the dreaded happened. My foot lost its grip on the slippery rocks, and I tumbled down, down the side of the rocky height. In the long seconds I was falling, I tried to grab ahold of the cliff before I crashed into the water, or worse, a hard, giant rock. I was able to stop myself, and I quickly examined the damage. My body was covered in thistles, tiny rocks, and dirt. I had cuts and scrapes with blood dripping from them.

I hobbled onto the ledge and jumped into the water, as it was the quickest way down to the boat. The coolness soothed my injuries as I fell into the clear water. I came up and saw my dad quickly dive into the water to come to my aide. My body ached as my brother lifted me up onto the deck of the boat. When I stumbled onto the seat, I placed ice from the cooler onto my wounds.

Looking back, it was a stupid mistake. I made a wrong step, and regretted it afterwards. Although I healed quickly, this incident has left a mark in my mind. Will I continue to still go cliff jumping? Absolutely. But I’ll always make sure to follow the three point rule.