Roller coasters, school outings and airplane rides were fun and exciting when I was younger. As I got older, and perhaps wiser, they began to be more scary than fun. Now I am happy to keep my feet on the ground.
My brothers and sisters and I spent many hours riding as many rides as we could fit into a day. We lived an hour and a half from Six Flags over Texas and our parents took us frequently.
We ran from one roller coaster to another and rode them over and over. There wasn’t any ride we wouldn’t try and even if it scared us, no one would admit to it.
We rode to the top of the 300 foot Oil Derrick Observation Tower and marveled at the view from the very top. Then we played from open until close, only stopping long enough to eat.
Now, I was never afraid of heights when I was young so it was unnerving when it started. I first noticed it on a choir trip to St. Louis my junior year of high school.
One of the attractions was the Gateway Arch that towered 630 feet in the air. The elevator ride was good and the view was amazing. However, when the arch started to sway in the wind, I was a nervous wreck. I quickly took the elevator back down to ground level.
Fast forward a few years and I am married and my husband and I meet my parents at the State Fair of Texas. We ate too much fried food, looked at the attractions and enjoyed the company. My fear of heights was increasing with age but they still talked me in to getting on the Ferris wheel.
It started okay as long as I didn’t look straight down and then it happened. The Ferris wheel stopped with us at the very top. We were in a swinging cage 212 feet in the air and I began to freak out.
I began to have a full panic attack and even tried to climb out of the car to get off. It took my parents and my husband to hold me the car and when we reached the bottom, I was a wreck. Crying and angry and who knows what else and I decided I wouldn’t do that again.
Fast forward a few more years and my husband and I are still married and met some friends in San Antonio for the weekend. Everyone but me wanted to eat at the Tower of the Americas. It is a restaurant that is 579 feet in the air and it turns very slowly as you dine.
I sat down and as long as I looked out across at the view and not straight down I was fine. Turning to look out the window I saw the slow movement as the restaurant turned for the 360 degree view as we ate.
Watching the slow turning motion made me ill. I was so nauseous I couldn’t even eat one bite of food. I sat there and tried not to look at the movement and focus on the conversation. Was I ever glad to get my feet on solid ground again.
Fast forward to today.
- Riding on an airplane is okay as long as I don’t look down as the plane takes off and lands or I will have a panic attack.
- I can be in a tall building but I don’t like being next to the window because I could fall (I know it is only in my head).
- Forget about looking straight down from anything 2-stories or higher or I get dizzy.
So, I move forward with my feet on the ground!
Do you have fears that have gotten better or worse with time? Feel free to share in the comments below.