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The appalling memory covered up - by the Vivacious Smile

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FINAL COPY The Appalling Memory Covered up By the Vivacious Smile (Based on a true story) The refreshing breeze slowly evaporated the tiny droplets of sweat that were running down the side of my face, captured by the camera that held a thousand memories. "Hey Samson, do you want me to take another picture?" my energetic friend queried. "No it's okay, we still have five days left until the trip is over", I responded in a hurry to catch up to the rest of my team of ten people. Looking back at this picture unlocks many haunting and treasured memories that I'll always keep with me until the end of time. The person that stands beside me with the red bandana was Josh, the leader of the pack, and the person with the baseball cap on the far right was Tom, the infamous rebel that wants everything his way or the highway. The picture was taken on the shorelines of Lake Superior in mid August of 2002. The story begins at the start of our sixty-kilometer hike. The drizzling rain in the morning, sliding off our bright yellow rain jackets that could be seen from miles away. The atmosphere of our beloved campsite was filled with an enormous amount of energy that would soon overcome the gloomy surroundings that we would soon depart. ...read more.


My legs were unable to stand up straight, and I thought my legs would be permanently bent at a sixty-degree angle. My level of pain continued to heighten; the only way I was able to walk was to squat and then take each step at a time. Each step I took felt like a flame torch burning my muscles, which I had to literally punch my leg muscles several times to ease the intense contractions. By this time, Liz knew something was wrong with me, and I used my last ounce of strength to describe to her what I was experiencing. She quickly told the rest of my team to find the nearest. Every step I took, I stabbed my hiking stick into the ground, with as much energy I had left in my worn out body. This kilometer seemed like a hundred kilometers to me. Every few steps I took didn't seem to shorten the distance to the campsite, but instead I felt I was walking while the scenery stayed unchanged like I was walking in a desert. I couldn't take this pain any longer, and was on my last thread of hope. I told Liz that in a few more steps, my legs wouldn't let me go further. ...read more.


I knew that God had answered my prayer by sparing my life, and I was extremely grateful and emotional that God had saved me so that I would be able to see my friends and family again. Now I look back at this picture, and I see that hopeful smile, but underneath it, I will always be saying the phrase that gets me through the most difficult parts of life, "Pain is weakness leaving the body." During my trip with Outwardbound, I've learned the most important lesson in life that was the biggest turning point of my life. I have learned that determination can get you through anything as long as you don't give up on it and you set your mind to achieve that goal. This trip also allowed me to appreciate the simple things in life, and not to take them for granted; because you never know what will happen to you in ten minutes, or ten years. By going through such pain during the summer, it has really strengthened me and allowed me to grow mentally and physically. Without going through rough times, I would have never blossomed into the person I am now, and would have never been able to appreciate the things in my life as I do now. Those six words that compose my phrase always encourage me during the tough times, because without pain, you will never be able to strengthen yourself as a person. ...read more.

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