“Seeing her cheering me on was making me forget how high I was, and also her encouraging me to do it was like easing me off from being nervous, just making it fun for me,” Cadet Michelle Mercado said.
From the University of Southern California, 1st Regiment, Basic Camp Cadets, Michelle Mercado and Chelsea Garcia, tackle the high ropes course at the Forest Hills Climbing Complex in Fort Knox, Ky.
Although Mercado and Garcia have been going to the same school for the last two years, they did not meet until the beginning of Cadet Summer Training.
“She’s like a sister I never had now and we’ve only been together for about three weeks. So now we’re gonna make more memories,” Garcia said.
During their training, Mercado and Garcia took turns spotting one another as they went through the course.
“At first I was nervous because I wasn’t sure if I was afraid of heights or not,” Mercado said.
However, after completing the course, Mercado really enjoyed herself and said she would recommend the course to anyone.
“Honestly, don’t think about it too much. Just go ahead and do it and just listen to the instructions and you’re gonna be fine and have a blast,” Mercado said.
On the other hand, Garcia felt pretty nervous going through the course.
“Soon as I took that first step onto that log, it was like game over. It was just a lot of nerves going through it, but I just knew once I got up there’s no coming down besides towards the end,” Garcia said.
Safety was Garcia’s biggest concern, so she was relieved to have Mercado below, coaxing her through the course.
“She was very like, ‘Hey, one harness at a time. You’re safe. You’re good to go. Green light go,’ which is really helpful and knowing that like, I’m secure out there, and just having all these helpers out there, but mostly it was my go to girl right here,” Garcia said.