Earlier this summer, I made a decision that I was going to overcome my fear of heights. I am a classic responder to heights, going all the way back to my youth. I can certainly related to Scotty, a main character in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film, Vertigo, especially the scene where he’s climbing the steps of the bell tower. That feeling of queasiness, internal trembling and shaking, that feeling of dread when looking down—I know those feelings all to well.
Step Out and SOAR
Correction, I knew those feelings all to well. My trip to Miami was the time I decided that I was ready to kick this fear to the curb. We stayed in a condo on the 12th floor with a balcony. As soon as I set my first foot on the balcony, I felt it coming on, anxiety tingling in my legs, rising up through my legs to secure itself in my gut, causing my heartbeat to drum faster and faster. Looking straight along my horizontal line of sight, I’m fine—it’s the looking down along my vertical line of sight that brought on those Scotty-like symptoms. I literally forced myself to look down and could feel the sensation of vertigo arising within. I stayed outside just long enough to get some pictures. I felt the anxiety slowly intensifying and retreated back inside. The second I set my foot landed on the floor in the apartment, I realized that fear is not my friend. I started praying for the will to step out and redesign my life to soar above my fears, starting with acrophobia. Fear is not my friend.