The summer after my freshman year of college, I volunteered at a camp in Minnesota where I was assigned to work on the zip line for the month. Officially, this meant hanging out on top of the 30-something-foot platform and making sure kids were strapped into their harnesses and connected to the cable correctly.
Unofficially, I was a cheerleader and an encourager for the many kids who started to doubt whether or not they actually wanted to step off that ledge.
I loved the assignment. I had the best view of the lake, got to work on my tan, and had the chance to get to know all the campers.
There was only one problem: I was pretty freaked out by the height.
Yeah, sure, I’d ridden the zip line multiple times as a camper but never without stepping off that ledge, holding my breath, waiting to see if the cables, carabiners and pulleys would do their jobs and keep me safe.
Now here I was having to stand on that platform edge for hours and reassure teenager after teenager that they would be fine; that the cables, carabiners and pulleys would all do their jobs and keep them safe.
Helping those kids to take that leap of faith, hearing them shriek with fear and joy taught me something about fear: while real in the moment, there is almost always something incredible waiting for us when we finally jump — wind in your hair, limbs flailing in joy, taking in all the surroundings as you breathe a sigh of relief. In that moment, all fear is pushed out of your body. You’re filled with confidence and pride as you relish in what you have accomplished.
And that’s my wish for you. That whatever your fear, you wouldn’t let it hold you back any more. That instead, you’d take a deep breath, let out a giant scream and just jump.