falling short

If this post seems a bit off, you can chalk it off to the following reasons:

  1. There’s so much makeup on me it’s practically another human being. Senior photoshoot, but I won’t go into detail because that deserves an entire post to itself.
  2. Cat has finally stopped giving me the cold shoulder and is currently making up for lost time by helpfully absorbing my laptop radiation, sitting on the summer assignments I wasn’t going to do anyway, and drinking all the water in my room so I actually have to get off my butt to refill the cups.
  3. All the other reasons don’t matter.

Back to Cat.

She’s been ignoring me because I abandoned her for two nights to go to my drill team’s summer retreat. I’ve been back since Friday afternoon, though, so I’d expected the snubbing to have ended earlier—I’ve worked out an approximate  linear relationship between how long you leave a cat and how long it holds a grudge—but apparently, she held off a bit longer this time on account of my having had such a good time without her. I’ve found she avoids me after I’ve had too much fun.

And people wonder why I’m a cat person.

Anyway, yes, retreat was a lot of fun, except when it wasn’t. Like trekking in 100+ degree weather and suddenly realizing, while in the shower, that some girl chose to take a dump in the stall right next to me without even having the courtesy to use the conspicuously positioned tropical-scented Febreeze—I didn’t particularly enjoy those moments. And while we’re at it, I also didn’t love being benignly peer-pressured into falling off a three-foot platform.

Ah, the trust fall. The go-to team-building exercise in which a person deliberately falls backward, relying on other members to catch her. That trust fall.

It was set up so one person would climb up the platform, position herself at the edge, facing away from the fifteen people waiting at the bottom, and just fall into their arms. A couple people had gone before me, all of them hesitant, but eventually they went for it.

Once it was my turn, I realized that a) the platform was a lot higher than it’d seemed from the ground, b) letting go and “just falling” backward wasn’t as simple as it’d sounded, and c) oh CRAP—

I’d subconsciously given my body the go-ahead and started to lean backward, but I wasn’t nearly ready. Mid-fall, I flapped my arms wildly and, I guess, tried to will myself back up onto the platform. I ended up gracelessly tumbling into my teammates, butt-first.

Of course, that attempt didn’t count, so I was sent back up again for another round. “Just trust us,” someone hollered. “We’ll catch you. You’ll be fine.”

Strange thing was, I knew that. Of course I knew that I’d be fine, logically speaking. I mean, it wasn’t that high a drop—it wouldn’t result in death, just paralysis maybe—and they’d caught every other girl who’d gone before me. Unless an extraordinarily strong gust of wind chose that very moment to blow me off the platform as divine retribution for all the bad things I’ve ever done, they’d catch me, too. And I trusted that they would. It wasn’t really lack of trust, but rather an innate sense of self-preservation that fueled my hesitation.

In the end, it was my reluctance to spend the time explaining myself to my increasingly impatient teammates that sent me over the edge. Literally. I arched my back as far as I could while still standing in an attempt to not sit into the sea of arms like I had the first time but probably ended up doing just that.

Anyway, what matters is I passed, and I know now that if there ever comes a time when extreme trust-falling (like, off cliffs or something) becomes trendy, you can be sure I’ll live to tell the tale, because I am never doing it again.


2 thoughts on “falling short

  1. I love you so much, Nicole! Oh my freaking gosh this feels like a professionally written article in a real magazine! I’m crazily jealous of your witty and creative writing skills and I officially want to be you when I grow up.

    Liked by 1 person

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