I crouched down on the branch, repositioned myself in the tree and launched myself towards the next branch. I put all my focus on that next branch about 7 feet above me and nothing else. As soon as my feet left the tree I got a rush of excitement as I climbed higher than I ever had before. I get a thrill from being up high, whether that be in a tree, on a plane, or a high ropes course; so when my team and I had the opportunity to get a tour of the ropes course at Camp Courage, I was all for it!
My teammates and I got a hands-on experience with the one and only wheelchair accessible high ropes course in the world. Upon arrival, we had to get harnessed up and clipped to a braided steel wired rope to ensure we wouldn’t fall to our deaths below, and I immediately got a rush of excitement… but not all of my teammates had the same feeling. As soon as I could, I had jumped onto the course and started navigation my way through as fast as possible. Then I took a moment to look back at my teammates and came to realize that while I was loving the risk involved the same could not be said for them. They had some fear and anxiety about the course which involved some definite risks. One of my teammates, in particular, had been injured on a similar ropes course before, and so there was definite fear and risk associated with completing this course again. Everyone gets a thrill from something, whether that be heights, giving a speech, or competing in an event; and each one has different levels of risk. But we need to remember that even though something has risk, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do something, it just means we need to measure that risk and decide that we have what it takes to go for it.
Even though there was risk in the ropes course, every one of us had pushed through that risk factor and finished the circuit! Now we each had different perspectives on the level of risk involved, but yet each one of us had overcome that barrier of risk that all too often can shut us down from accomplishing our goals. Whether it be joining a new sports team, club, a more difficult class or going out for a new CDE; there is a level of risk associated with each activity that can sometimes keep us from striving after it.
Being able to evaluate that risk and being able overcome it takes dedication and strong determination, and motivates us in different ways. When looking at what you have to gain from taking that risk, you will find that the reward is much greater than what you have to lose by letting the opportunity slip by. So set your sights higher than ever before, and strive for that next branch.
Beneath the Rising Sun,
Minnesota FFA State President