Bucket List – Getting over my fear of heights

About two years ago, when I was putting together my bucket list of things I want to accomplish, fear of height was at the top. I’ve never been worried over heights but have a fear of heading up and down heights. I can go up to high levels like Empire State building or The Shard. But it would be the fear of going up and down which scared me more. I have balance issues which has prevented or stopped me on occasions doing things. As I’ve been looking for something to help get over this I wasn’t able to achieve this, until now….

When joing the Duke of Edinburgh Awards I decided to complete my Diamond Challenge. I looked at many different challenges and opportunities. As I hurt my pelvis, some of the challenges were not do able. Until my chiropractor said I would be fine to walk over the o2. My dad kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas, I kept saying I want to complete my Diamond Challenge, so he kindly paid for this and decided to do it with me.

I have to admit a few years ago I attempted Go Ape! but had a major freak out. Didn’t get further at all with it. I think this is where my fear began. The thought of being up high, crossing a bride, having a safety rope and that’s it, put fear into me. Balance is definitely an issue.

That morning we got up to thick fog weather, where rain had come down heavy over night. We wrapped up warm and headed over to The o2. When we got there, we were slightly early and went for a coffee at Costa and able to watch a previous group head up. We got to our time and checked in, given a health and safety form and headed into a room to watch a safety video. The video was formal, telling us how to put our kit on, how we move around, but to my surprise nothing about coming down. Boy was that a surprise! We put our suits on, got buckled up and headed to start the walk.

Setting off, I was determined to do this, so I put one foot in front of the other and carried on. Following my Dad meant I had to keep going. Having this stupid latch you have to manoever every ten steps meant I had something to focus on. As we kept climbing the path getting steep, which soon started to level out.

Eventually we made it to the top, the viewing point, where I was relieved and able to take selfies at the top (ignore the hair!). Even do a Facebook live post!

The next bit was the hardest, coming down and one I wasn’t prepared for… hence the video before the start.

Before climbing down I asked Dad to go behind me as I know he would keep me calm and keep me focussed. The first part we went forwards, like before except going down. Until we reached the 30 degree decline, where the guide told us we would have to go backwards. Not somehing I was loooking forward to and admitted to him. I stepped onto a very slippy walkway. Moving a couple of steps I lost my balance, and had a minor fresk out…. Regaining my balance, thanks to the guide, I was on my own again. I kept going, with dad saying if you keep going I’ll buy you a pint, which he did. Heart was still racing, hands were very sweaty, but we eventually got to the bottom. I jumped off and realised I completed my award. I was very releaved!

Working for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, you hear of people achieving amazing things, like biking 60,000 miles, expeditions of canoeing and walking, biking from Scotland to London, taking on 60 new challenges or taking part in the Transplant Games. I think if I started my challenge at the stat of the year, maybe I could have done that or something more spectacular. Bringing this back into my own perspective, I’ve challenged myself to one of my fears, I’ve had for a very long time. For that I have gained my Duke of Edinburgh Award Diamond Challenge and has inspired me to take on my next challenge….

What’s your next Challenge? Have you completed your Diamond Challenge? Have you climbed the o2??

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