Bit of a mixed metaphor there but it’s literally and metaphorically what I wanted to talk about.
I recently went to France to see family, we were in the Mont Blanc mountain range and every day the bright blue sky was filled with brightly coloured paragliders enjoying the stunning views and getting their Adrenalin fix. I’m scared of heights- like struggle to climb those open staircases or go up ladders but for some reason I wanted to be up there with them. I also get motion sickness, in a car, in a boat, on the swings in the park.
Without allowing myself time to think I found a company, I emailed and I’d booked myself in for 9am the next morning. I was too busy sorting logistics to think about it too much. The next morning I was coursing with Adrenalin, got to the meeting point only to be told the weather was too bad to do it.
I can’t tell you what it’s like to build yourself up for something only to have it not happen, it’s like psyching yourself up for a fight only to have your opponent run away!
Long story short but after lunch the sun came out and it was back on. Back I went, up the mountain in the cable car and a brisk walk to the take off spot.
It was at this point my brain decided to remind me that I don’t like heights and that running off a cliff edge was not the most sensible idea. I’m having this internal dialogue whilst Oliver is strapping me into all the gear and giving me instructions. Then he was telling me that the wind was perfect and I had to go.
I didn’t think, I just walked- literally off the edge of a mountain…
It was the most amazing thing, that feeling of flying and the view was stunning (despite being a long long way away!). I cannot tell you how glad I am I did it.
It made me realise that sometimes fear is crippling, it stops us doing things that could change our lives or enhance our experiences and we should never let that happen. Recognise your fear, admit it but do the thing that scares you anyway- great things can happen.
Turns out I get air sick as well by the way. Good to know though!