Overcoming My Fear of Heights

For Megan’s 10th birthday she requested a rock climbing party. Little did I know this would result in one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I am truly not afraid of heights. I can climb like a monkey. The problem is in coming down. Over the years I have been rescued from ladders, tree houses and even a ropes course, but the most embarrassing rescue ever came at Megan’s party.

Having reached the ripe old age of 38 I assumed that I had outgrown my childhood fear of coming down from high places. Clearly I was wrong. After beating one of the children to the top of the wall, I realized I would have to repel down the wall and I froze. I could not move. Even with the children teasing and prodding from below, even as parents began to join in the fun, I clung to that wall with all my might.

Finally, the guide realized he had no choice and he came up to talk me down. Nope. I still clung to the wall. Eventually, he understood that I was not going down on my own and he rescued me.

I vowed that day that I would never, ever, ever put myself in that situation again.

So, when Megan saw the Extreme Flyer ride at King’s Dominion, I promptly paid for her ticket and told her I would wait for her at the bottom. But then I stood there, watching them put her in the flying harness and I knew there was no way I was going to allow her to do this on her own.

Swallowing my own fear I let myself be put into a harness, hoisted 150 feet into the air and dropped.

Was it terrifying? The scream says it all. But was it fun? Yes. Was it exhilarating? Most definitely. Did it free a part of my brain that had been stuck for years? I believe it did. Knowing that for Megan I can face something as strongly ingrained as a fear of heights, I feel lighter, more capable and much, much more free.