I have been afraid of heights for as long as I can remember. I even get a little nervous when I have to stand on a desk or small ladder. Looking over a cliff: forget about it, it makes me feel as if I have no sense of balance. The only place that I have no height fear is in a plane, because I can’t fall out of the little window, so I am safe.
I know that my fear is disproportionate to the actual risk so I decided to do something about it, I went indoor rock climbing. My introduction was courtesy of Jem, who is into that kind of thing. We went to the climbing gym at St Leonards, around the corner from Adam and Bits’ apartment. It cost me $18 for entry and harness hire.
They took us to a special belaying practice wall, and I was the first to be belayed, in other words I was the first to have to climb. I don’t mind telling you that I was shiteing it, my heart was beating fast and I could hear the blood rushing through my head. I only managed to climb halfway up the wall before I could go no more. I made the mistake of looking down.
After the second climb I was shiteing it no more. My focus had shifted from challenging fear, to the challenge of the wall. I was enjoying myself, and I had no fear of falling. I am on the road to being cured.
I managed maybe 12 climbs, the last 5 of which were boosted by willpower, as all of our arms had long since spent their strength reserves. I enjoyed myself at the climbing gym, and I am happy to make it a regular Wednesday night thing.