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Have you ever met someone that changed your life by teaching you things that you have never learned before? I have. My friend, Charlie, taught me to explore new things and try things you have never done before. At first, I was reluctant but then began to accept the idea of trying new things and unleashing my inner rebel.

It all started when I met Charlie at church. Our parents were good friends, and soon, we had formed a strong bond. Charlie and one of his other friends, Justin, liked to do daring things on the church playground, such as jumping or swinging of the slides, standing on the sides of the railings, etc., and I liked to tag along. But, the first few times, I was reluctant to join them, because I had never done things like what they were doing before, and was worried that something bad would happen.

However, after seeing how much fun they were having, I finally decided to try doing what they were. But I clearly was not built for this. While Charlie seemed carefree as he swung on the railings and jumped off from what seemed like really high places to me, I tensed up at even the slightest chance that something bad would happen. In fact, I gripped the railings so tightly and jumped so tensely that by the time my mom picked me up, I had blisters on my hands and my legs were sore! After many, many times on the playground with Charlie and Justin on the playground, I finally had the hang of it...sort of. Even though I only did things that Charlie had already done and said were safe, my grip wasn't so tight, my legs weren't so tense, and I definitely worried less. I actually thought it was pretty fun!

Soon, we went on a camping trip with Charlie and Justin, and I was looking forward to hanging out with them. I was glad when I saw both of them at the campsite but little did I know, trouble was near and would be when I least expected it.

Later that day, Charlie, Justin and I were playing a game in which we had to walk on a narrow strip of asphalt as fast as we could. It sounded fun, so I opted in. However, as I sped along the thin outcropping of concrete, I took a tumble. It didn't hurt that bad, but when I examined the wound, I nearly fainted. The wound was about an inch by a centimeter, and was around one to two centimeters deep! Now, it might not sound that bad, but know this: it is not your typical skin scrape or type of injury you would expect from falling from a strip of asphalt. In fact, I had to apply bandages, gauze, and ointments daily after being rushed to the ER (Emergency Room). Nevertheless, the second day after I got injured, Charlie and Justin asked me if I wanted to make an exciting hiking trip with them. At first, I was reluctant because of my injury, but after they told me it wasn't going to hurt, I finally agreed. I guess Charlie was beginning to rub off on me! Turns out, climbing rocks and weaving through trees and bushes with them was actually pretty fun. Charlie and Justin were really encouraging, too!

As the days passed, I went on more and more adventures like these with Charlie and Justin, who I now prefer to call "Nitsuj" (Justin backward). The more adventures I had with them, the more I found how fun it is to unleash the inner rebel of your heart and let it lead you to do crazy things. For example, last year, I was pretty scared of rock climbing, but this year, at Harker Summer camp, I gave the climbing wall a try, and it turned out to be pretty exciting. Now, whenever I go on hiking trips, I like to climb the rocks on the hills or by the beach. I was amazed at how much fun I got out of this valuable lesson Charlie taught me!

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