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Word Count: 996
When I was younger I thought of myself as a coward I was afraid to take risks and for the most part went through life very passively often regretting afterwards the chances I chose not to take In the past few years however I have undergone various experiences which have time and time again negated that feeling of cowardice The culmination of these experiences came on July 19 2000 as I stood roughly 14000 feet high in the Colorado Rockies and in that precarious position I came to a realization Mountain climbing was a true way of testing my courage The part of the experience that was most difficult was also the simplest it is merely the action of taking a single upward step on the cliff-face But while the muscles allowing the movement are not aware of the consequences of their actions save the burning fermenting respiration of the muscles the mind is and getting my mind around that simple step was a challenge I was never sure I could overcome I have been challenged before sometimes by others but most often by my own self striving to break out of that feeling of cowardice I began testing myself as a direct response to the fear I had felt in other situations and the regret that usually followed when I failed to conquer that fear I disliked being afraid but I disliked even more the way I thought of myself as I succumbed to that fear as a result I would force myself to do whatever it was that I was afraid of While I had the idea somewhere in the back of my mind however I never gave it direct thought In each case wherein I made myself work through my fear whether I was hurtling down a roller-coaster diving off the high-dive as a kid or even asking a girl out I never consciously thought about why I made
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