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I can just picture it: I’m at the top of a steep hill covered in snow and ice. It’s nearly vertical; no joke. It’s either my freshmen or sophomore year in the Calvary high school’s youth group, I can’t remember which. Hmm… The rest of the girlz haven’t moved up to high school yet, so it must be my freshmen year. Treasa is in the same grade as me, thank goodness; there’s no way I was braving high school on my own.

To come back to the matter at hand… I’ve just made a crazy choice. It had been a good idea at the middle school retreats. But this isn’t middle school- it’s high school. BIG difference.

I have brought my flimsy blue sled up this hill with me, as compared to the other kids who wisely use thick and cushioned inner tubes. We all have to wear helmets, which is a bit intimidating. Mine doesn’t fit; I think I got it from one of the boys. All the boys seem much taller than me; they’re rather frightening, they seem so grown-up all of a sudden. Somehow that makes me uncomfortable, though I can’t figure out why.

My helmet slides over my eyes and I push it back so that I can see. I peer down the steep hill at my feet. Heck, we should have force fields around us if we’re going to take on this hill.

I hold my sled lightly in my hands; it feels like a feather- it’s not very comforting. My sled is as fast as lightning; that’s why I’d brought it to all the middle school retreats. But as I’ve said, this is high school.

I must be out of my mind, I think.

What? You chicken? I ask myself.

I bristle in indignation at this. Of course not!

Then do it! You big sissy!

My chin juts out stubbornly. I will! Thank you very much!

I prepare for the plunge, then I pause. I’ve got a highland dancing Regional’s championship in a month, this may not be wise. It would give me a good excuse for not going through the stress of a championship.

Nah! You’re just a fraidy-cat.

I notice that the boys are watching. None of them are interesting as the high school girls seem to measure ‘interesting.’ But for a tomboy to look like a sissy is out of the question- it’s just not an option.

I take a deep breath; settle myself on the sled as safely as is possible, then I take off.

Oh boy is this fun!… And terrifying. I screech briefly then grit my teeth, determined not to squeal like a little girl even though I am one.

Wow! I’m going so fast! This was definitely worth it.

I hit a large bump on the icy hill; I can feel it painfully through my flimsy blue sled. Maybe it’s not worth it. Ouch.

I must be breaking the sound barrier; everything is a blur.

I reach the bottom of the hill and slowly lose momentum as the ground levels out. I come to a halt. Derick (one of the ten-foot-tall boys) comes over. He’s got admiration in his eyes; I like that. He says something to the extent of- “Wow, you’ve got guts.” I glow. Being called brave by a high school boy is quite the compliment.

“Can I try your sled?” he asks. I nod and hand it to him, and he’s soon off to have his fun. The other boys follow him like a pack of puppies; they each want a chance to show their manliness and bravery, perhaps some of that’s due to a few of the girls looking on. It’s on odd mystery in my opinion.

I sigh in relief; glad to have the sled out of my hands. I’ve proved myself- I don’t have to do it again. I stand up and grimace. I think I’m going to be sore for a week.