I discovered my ‘height anxiety’ one day hiking with my 4 boys (husband included). “Come mom. Look at how high we are” squealed my eldest son, just 9 years old maybe, perched at the side of a cliff beckoning me to come share the amazing view with him. I’m a sucker for views, sunsets, the outdoors, flowers. So without a thought, I immediately turned to share in the moment but, on seeing him at the edge, my heart started to contract. My chest started to heave, my breathing became shallow and there wasn’t enough oxygen in the world for all of us.
I might be exaggerating somewhat. But I knew I couldn’t watch him or the view. My husband, much braver than I and my other two sons were already there pointing, smiling, gasping at what must have been the perfect view. Not wanting to spoil the moment, however, I simply turned around and made some excuse for wanting to move away.
Needless to say, that entire holiday was filled with heights, precipices and perfect views. And my boys could not be happier enjoying the thrills of standing at the edge, relishing in the fact that we were so high up above the ground. Just writing about it makes me cringe and want to turn away.
Fast forward to the present. Well I’ve made some strides. I tell myself that unless there’s a major earthquake or some idiot pushes you, you’ll be fine. Think of the amazing view.
Take a chance and enjoy the moment.
Does is work? Most times. My boys still love sitting at the edge and I always want to be with them. So the math is easy. As I grow older conquering my fears gets easier. With my heart full and my mind strong, I move forward.