The Rider Chronicle

Filed under Opinion

Boots Off The Ground

Most people don’t think about rappelling when they get to school in the morning

Chris+Greenwood+rappels+from+the+top+of+Treadwell+Tower+at+Ft.+Sill%2C+Oklahoma.%0APhoto+provided+by+Colonel+Kuhl.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Boots Off The Ground

Chris Greenwood rappels from the top of Treadwell Tower at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.
Photo provided by Colonel Kuhl.

Chris Greenwood rappels from the top of Treadwell Tower at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Photo provided by Colonel Kuhl.

Chris Greenwood rappels from the top of Treadwell Tower at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Photo provided by Colonel Kuhl.

Chris Greenwood rappels from the top of Treadwell Tower at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Photo provided by Colonel Kuhl.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






I thought the Wednesday of Sept. 23 was going to be a blast because I was ECA from school. I wasn’t thinking about the tower that I was to rappel from that same day.

I’ve always been scared of heights, and I missed school only to be terrified beyond belief.

Being enrolled in the JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps) program, I signed up for the summer leadership camp.

The camp was the best thing ever, up until the rappel course.

I had tried to calm my fear by telling myself that it wasn’t going to be the 40-ft. tower that we had passed on the way to the combat conditioning course. After the one and a half  hour drive from here to Ft. Sill I had my hopes to the roof, but after a turn around a corner, my hope crashed below sea level.

We unloaded the buses, and I got to see the tower in all its terrifying glory. The instructors went through the instructions, and all I could think about was that tower. We all put on the safety harnesses and moved over to the training wall. It was only about 14 ft. high. The feeling of hanging off a cliff had my legs shaking.

Are you afraid of heights, too?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

I started thinking about the worst outcomes. Once I looked over my shoulder and saw the belay, I started to calm down. The belay stands on the bottom of the wall and holds the rope. They pull down on the rope in case you start to fall, stopping you.

We moved on to a rope swing and that didn’t worry me, but the tower standing behind it did. We moved on to the halfway mark of the course, the bottom of the looming tower.

The thing reminded me of a siege tower from the crusades, frame made of wood, staircases that lead to different stories. The sergeants answered the questions of the waiting cadets. Then came my turn to climb the tower. The way up consisted of a 40-ft. wood plank ladder that leaned against the tower. The worst thing to do was to look down.

At the top stood a sergeant in charge of another rope swing and three rappel instructors.

After completing the swing, I continued to the rappel station, legs nervously shaking. There were two cadets in front of me before it was my turn to rappel down the wall.

My turn shortly approached, and I started to go through the steps. The last one on top of the wall was to look over and shout that you were starting.

I looked down at the people that had completed their turns and heard some cheers coming from the group.

I started my descent down the wall, shaking with fear. I then remembered someone was down there to save me if I were to fall, and I started to calm down. Next thing I knew I was on the ground, relieved that it was over.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Boots Off The Ground

    Opinion

    The Nutcracker and The Four Mediocre Realms

  • Boots Off The Ground

    Opinion

    From Text to Script: Excitement or Fear?

  • Boots Off The Ground

    News

    Trump’s Triumph

  • Boots Off The Ground

    Opinion

    ‘Rise Red As The Dawn’, Read Red Queen

  • Boots Off The Ground

    Opinion

    No Longer Terrified, Ready

  • Boots Off The Ground

    Opinion

    STAAR Restricts Students’ Learning

  • Boots Off The Ground

    Opinion

    Eyes On The Road

  • Boots Off The Ground

    Opinion

    Spring Back Into Class After Break

  • Boots Off The Ground

    Opinion

    Make Your Voice Heard

  • Boots Off The Ground

    Opinion

    Terrified, But Ready…I Guess

Navigate Right
The student news publishing site of Rider High School in Wichita Falls, TX.
Boots Off The Ground