By Sean Callahan
The massive house had a white front porch. There was a garden beside the front steps filled with white and red roses and the prickly thorn bushes. The house had a large backyard with pine trees growing along the perimeter, blocking the other neighborhood homes from view. This is my second home, Maryland.
One year, winter came. I was sledding with my cousins, named Emily and Cara. We were trying to make new paths in the snow.
When we came in for our hot chocolate break, Cara showed Emily and I a video. A man, who looked as skinny as a chair leg, was standing on the railIng of his second floor porch. He dived into the tall mass of snow below, head first. Cara said this was called the Snow Challenge.
She’s lost her mind, I thought. We had a good coating of snow this year, and I wasn’t ready to have hypothermia in my obituary anytime soon. Still, I wasn’t going to be shown up by my cousins. We got into bathing suits, ran the hot showers upstairs (for emergency precautions), and waited at the front door for my Aunt to start filming the challenge.
The dry air seeped through the crack in the door, sending goosebumps up my arms. I touched the glass, and instantly withdrew at the icy sensation. Amid the nervousness and cold, I was actually excited for this.
When we were told to run, my cousins hesitantly went first. Their high pitched screams rang out as they dashed through the garden and into our front yard. I sprinted behind them, lunging into the piles of snow. Emily didn’t get further than a foot past the flower bed before screeching back into the house. Cara screamed, continuing to toss snow into the air. Seconds later, she couldn’t take it, and ran back into the house.
I was the last one, tossing snow up, cheering, and jumping into the air. All the while, my teeth were chattering, I was shaking with excitement and shivering simultaneously, and the cold was now beginning to burn. I ran back in, desperately seeking the hot shower waiting for me. I felt the searing pain of sudden temperature change, but after recovering, I found out I’d managed to stay outside in the snow for thirteen seconds.
A year later, I was the only one who’d chosen to do the snow challenge. This year, I’m going to break my record.