As the lazy days of summer begin to unfold, the time to enjoy a life with a slower pace begins. As the sun lingers overhead, birds chatter from every tree, the crickets sing us to sleep, the ability to take time and relax is upon us. Summer is a chance to gain a new perspective while stepping away from cramming for final exams, writing that last paper and finally graduating from high school.
Living in the country, I have learned two things. Number one: never forget your muck boots. Number two: make your life an adventure. As a rule in my life, I believe in seizing every opportunity that one is given no matter how unexpected. Small towns often come with limited opportunities or as I see it as unlimited possibility. The summer after senior year is a time to take every opportunity before life begins to speed up including spending time with family and accomplishing the unthinkable.
Even though my summer vacation does not begin until this weekend, the start of the summer season first began for me as my father, cousins and I traveled to Philadelphia. Every year we take a trip to a new place, a new city to explore and to run the Tough Mudder. Our team, Team Die Trying, began many years ago with more people than we have today, but the feeling of running 12 miles in overcoming over two dozen obstacles leads me every year to believe “Why do I do this to myself?” The feeling of accomplishment of crossing the finish line and receiving that headband allows me to know that I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to even when it seems a little crazy.
The ability to alter my life has allowed me to take chances on different experiences. My parents are able to give me amazing opportunities and even live through them with me. My father once asked me if I would take scuba diving lessons with him and today it has become one of my favorite pastimes. Whenever we have a free weekend, my father and I will grab our gear and a couple of friends and head out to the lake. Each time we head out, we look for new spots or shipwrecks that have just come up on the map. One of our favorite dives is the Niagara River drift. Starting at the top of the river, the current will carry you downstream toward Niagara Falls. Every time, there is something new to see from fish and wildlife to old glass bottles from the 1800s, and if you’re lucky gold coins from a shipwreck that happened up river over 100 years ago.
Every year, our family takes a trip up to the thousand islands the first week in August. In this part of the state, there are larger shipwrecks and deeper dives. Every year, we dive the ship named The America. On this old freighter, all of the cabin doors are left open, so there’s always a new room to explore. The best part of the ship is sitting at the bottom in the captain’s chair with the entire glass window still intact. From this seat, you can see the entire ship, as well as the new reef that has grown around it.
Before I leave for college, I want to spend as much time with my family as I can. I love spending time with my sister who understands me wholeheartedly and my very spontaneous younger brother. We do everything together from ATVing with my brother to painting with my sister. Even if this time means helping build my Dad’s crazy tree house or making a new recipe with my mom, every adventure is new and unique.
The rest of my summer is pretty simple. Spending time with family, relaxing by the pool, and working as a teacher’s aide for a local summer school program. I cannot wait to start my newest adventure at Geneseo. See you all in August!