That falling feeeeeeling

2009-06-01 00:00

I HATE heights. No let me rephrase that, I detest them with a passion. Whenever I have to climb on anything higher than a desk chair it gives me the chills.

The thought of being hoisted up metres above the ground and then dropped rapidly and repeatedly left my stomach in knots.

So, very much against my better judgement, I agreed to go on the Free Fall ride at the Royal Show, on camera.

I have been to the Royal showgrounds too many times to count but this time around the journey to the grounds was not a pleasant one. The anxiety made my mouth dry up, I nearly ran out of lip balm.

When I first climbed on to my seat I was surprisingly not as nervous as I thought I would be.

The girl next to me was more petrified than I was. As terrible as it may sound she made me feel a lot better about myself. Her sheer terror provided some comic relief which made me momentarily forget my own fears.

She asked if I would hold her hand when the ride dropped down. Foolishly I agreed thinking “this isn’t so bad.”

As we started to lift off the ground and watched the people below appear smaller and smaller the knots in my stomach returned and I knew then that I would be too consumed with my own terror to notice anyone else.

As we stopped at the top and prepared to drop down I promised myself I wasn’t going to scream. “Screaming is for little girls,” or so I thought.

But as soon as it started to drop down, I could not hold back the screams, it really felt like I was falling.

It slowed down a few times and I thought it was almost over only for it to lift off once again.

The lifting and dropping continued for about three minutes, but it felt like three hours.

After it was done I stumbled back on the grass, overjoyed to be back on the ground.

Once it was finally over, I was pleased that I had gone through with it because I got a chance to face my fears and it taught me one very valuable lesson in life.

“I will climb no higher than desk chairs!”

To see a video clip of my Free Fall experience go to the Witness website www.witness.co.za

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