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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » My Journey » Week 18: Cliffs, Swings, and Mike

Week 18: Cliffs, Swings, and Mike

AAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGHHH! That’s the sound of a thirteen-year-old boy jumping off a 25 foot cliff into the murky, deep waters of the Hiwassee river. It’s also the sound of gray hair in the making. In case you haven’t guessed, that boy was me, and it was describing my day with Michael Graham Glasgow, alias Mike, alias Mr. Mike, alias Big Mike, alias Mikey G, alias…well, you get the point.

Starting the day, I had no clue what Mike and I would be doing. I knew that I needed a swimsuit, but I thought we’d be swinging by the YMCA to chill for a few minutes or something. Boy, was I wrong. The day started with Mike picking me up from my baseball game (if you look closely, you can see that I’m wearing an Athletics jersey), and us grabbing a Sonic burger as a snack. When we left Sonic, we headed in a direction I had never been. That was when I learned (partially) what we were doing. “Have you ever been swimming in the Hiwassee before?” When Mike asked that question, I was ecstatic. A pool is one thing; a river is something else. But it wasn’t until we arrived at our destination that I found out that we wouldn’t be swimming, we would be jumping.

As I looked over the edge of the 25 foot rock face, dying never actually crossed my mind. However, going unconscious and breaking a few bones did. Mike had done it many times before, so he just casually dove off like it was nothing. That was what did it for me. I figured that if Mike could jump, so could I (hmm; that burger must have done something to my head). When I jumped, I want to say that I had a profound thought pass through my head, but all I was thinking about was attempting to stay conscious. That thought so dominated my brain, in fact, that I forgot to point my toes and ended up ripping about twenty layers of skin off my feet upon entry, and had to tread water for a minute because I couldn’t climb back up the rocks. Finally, when my feet regained feeling, I climbed back up and jumped again. This time I corrected my previous mistake, but I must not have focused on not being scared enough, because I let out a short, but very audible, shriek when I entered the river.
Mike in Midair
The second jump was my last, because I was a bit cold, so Mike took me to the other place he had planned for us; the rope swing. It wasn’t really a rope–it was actually a tie-down strap– and it looked really old, but it held Mike, so I figured it could hold me. There were actually several ways to swing; you could wait until the apex of the swing and then fall Watch me swing, you could let go as the swing was still moving and shoot across the water Watch Mike take a turn, or you could Adrenaline Rushslip off early and flop around in the air like a dying fish See Mike slip off the rope. All three are fun, both to watch and to do. We hung out at the rope swing for about two hours, swinging and swimming, and it was one of the most fun times of my life. I was actually surprised that I had the courage and the backbone to do that kind of stuff, because normally, my idea of extreme sports is popping a five-inch wheelie on my bike. Of course, when Mike was a kid, he would do anything, no matter if he got hurt or not.

After we finished, we drove to the Glasgows’ house, because (surprise, surprise) Mike needed to set up a barbecue he was having for my family. It was a ton of fun, and everyone went home happy. Although my mom, dad, and everyone else did keep commenting on how gray my hair looked, but I’m sure they were just imagining things. I mean, it’s not like I did anything to change my hair color, right?

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