I’d like to share with all of you a beautiful college essay written by a camper who grew up with us at Island Lake. Enjoy reading her essay. You will feel as if you are taking part in her experience through her words and imagery.
Back, forward, up and out, forward, back, set… hup! I feel weightless, yet full. Full of what? Adrenaline. Bliss. Life. Ascending higher and higher up the ladder, you’d think my heart would start racing, but it doesn’t. I feel secure. When I’m in the air, I forget about reality. All my fears beneath me… even if it’s only for a few seconds. All I have to worry about is what is happening at that moment; contradictory to how I’ve led my life. I was always taught to think about my future and stay one step ahead. If you want a good job you have to do well in school. Don’t post that because future employers might not hire you. Always go above and beyond. While all these things are true, I sometimes forget to just live. I’m always thinking, never doing; except when I’m flying.
I’ve made some of my favorite memories at camp. Since I was 9 years old, I’ve spent my summers away. My camp is called Island Lake, in Starrucca PA. It’s a sports and arts camp and I chose to spend my time where sports and arts collide: circus. Being a former competitive gymnast, circus screamed home to me. While I’ve rotated through all of the different events, flying trapeze became my anchor; holding me down and protecting me from the unrelenting grasp of my own imagination. Isn’t it ironic how being in the air is what grounds me? Digging my heels into each rung of the ladder on my ascent to the p-board, I repeat in my head left right, left right, almost there! I ’m at the top. A cool breeze moves a few strands of hair out of my face. I reach for the bar, hips out chest up. A slight bend of the knees and hup! I am suddenly fully aware of myself. I rhythmically command myself, back hard, forward, up and out through to extension! Forward, back, set over the bar! In this moment, nothing else matters. The next thing I know, I feel the tang of the net embracing me, holding me, keeping me safe.
I’ve gone through life weighing my outcomes. Thinking of almost every possibility and convincing myself out of almost every activity. I’m not friends with them so I’m not going to go. I could fall and get hurt. I’m too antisocial and awkward. But where has that gotten me? I’ve become an observer in my own life.
I yearn to feel weightless everyday. To live in the moment and really absorb everything that is going on. I love flying. Not just because of the adrenaline, but because it has allowed me to see life through a different lens.
I’ve learned so much from the circus. Not only about being an aerialist, but about myself. I have learned what it feels like to live life with zest and self fulfillment. To feel weightless. Secure. Life is like a circus; there is so much going on, all the time. That can be overwhelming. Circus, however, has taught me how to take advantage of everything the world has to offer while focusing on my own act and living in the moment; even if that means taking a risk and leaving my comfort zone. I’ve learned that it’s okay to not know what happens next. But what I do know, is that I will be able to handle it.