While on assignment in Atlantis, Paradise Island, Labour Day weekend, I decided it was high time I faced my only real fear on earth.
My whole entire life I have suffered from a fear of height. I am perfect in planes or high up the CN or Eiffel Towers. I can mountain climb at a steepish grade but if you make me or anyone close to me, hang perilously off the side of a cliff, I will not be happy. If you combine height with speed-zip lining, parachuting, bungee jumping- it is all enough to make me cry like a baby.
I spent the morning like an 8 year old-in nothing by my bikini and a wristband, allowing me into the waterpark to enjoy all its really scary offerings. I began with the lazy river-the easiest most relaxing ride. From there I moved to the white water rapids-no problem — and actually so much fun. I found myself laughing my way through it. I would recover from a huge wave only to get hit by another.
This ride warmed me up to my next challenge. I decide I was going to FACE MY FEAR.
I started interviewing everyone who worked there-Practically grabbing them by the scruff of the neck, asking them breathlessly and desperately Have you been on this ride? Was it scary? How would you describe the fear you felt? If they were not afraid of height and speed, I would dismiss them as unreliable sources.
Finally, I felt ready. I got in the long line with all those going to the FALLS. The Falls drops riders down 58′ before propelling them up again through twisting turns using “master -blaster” technology, effectively creating roller coasters from jets of water. I assessed the group; children, older people, fat people, clumsy people, smart people, not so smart people. People with likely less courage then me in other areas. Really, all I had to do was let go. Letting go is not always easy for me.
The conveyor belt took me up up up and just as I was about to
drop to my death take my turn, I heard myself say out loud You must be #$%^ing kidding. I held on and let go.
I overcame my fear.
At the bottom I heard myself laugh and make a little cheer. My eyes were stinging a little with tears. I was proud of myself.
Here is the weird part; I wanted more.
Now more interviewing-How do the Falls compare to the Drop? The same, much harder or quite different? If someone could handle the fear of The Falls how would they be in The Drop? How deep is the drop of the drop? MY GOD, I was making myself tired.
I forgot one important question. It became apparent when I was heading into the DROP, with no chance of turning back, that the drop is done in complete darkness. HOLY TRIPLE THREAT. The only thing harder for me then the combination of height and speed is someone throwing in darkness.
My head spun around in my neck like Regan in the Exorcist as I tried, with futility, to question the guy working at the top, for just a little reassurance, just before I DROPPED.