I’ve had moments of being afraid. We all have. Fear is sometimes a part of life, ranging from heart stopping moments when our kids are running on the sidewalk towards a street and we scream out to them to STOP! Or less dramatic reactions, but no less scary, like when you slip on a stair but manage to catch yourself, heart pumping, visions of your body piled at the bottom, broken.
Maybe that one’s just me.
In movies, the hero is never afraid. They leap onto moving trains, crash through windows and catch the bad guy while shouting out funny one-liners and flexing their muscles.
In real life people are flawed. We don’t always feel, do or say the right thing at the right moment like a beautifully crafted script.
Why I agreed to do the CN Tower Edge Walk is beyond me. I’m deathly afraid of heights. The last time I took the kids to the CN Tower, I had a panic attack and had to be helped by a kind, elderly woman. My answer asking if I wanted to participate in the Edge Walk was a spontaneous Yes! not thinking of the ramifications of my hastily written email agreeing to traipse above the city.
I wish I could be all eloquent and write about how I spread my wings and flew. The truth is, I just about crapped my pants.
That’s not a euphemism.
By the time we got to the tower, I was in full blown “holy crap” mode. My legs were shaky and I needed a bathroom. Stat.
My kids were complaining because we couldn’t find an open entrance to the CN Tower. Where’s the entrance? Why are all the doors locked? Why did we get here so early? Quite frankly, I wanted to yell at them to SHUT UP!!! I’M ABOUT TO DIE. DON’T YOU EVEN CARE?
But I didn’t because I’m a good mother like that. Also my mouth was quite dry and I was having difficulty forming words.
I met up with the people I’d be doing the Edge Walk with and proceeded to deal with my impending death the only way I knew how. With humour. Nothing elicits nervous laughter like jokes about plunging off a tower. Also? Helpful hint here…reminding people about the guy in the TD Centre who died trying to show how safe the windows were is never a good idea in any social scenario.
What the hell am I doing getting harnessed in to walk around the edge of a tower that’s 1,168 feet above the city?
We stepped into our special suits, cause nothing says I’m bringing sexy back like red jumpsuits, and strapped on our harnesses. Then we got checked, checked again and re-checked. I haven’t been that manhandled since….well….last Saturday night. Only there was no lube. Or condoms.
For the edge walk. Not the Saturday night.
Here’s the honest truth. I did it. I walked the edge. Did it cure me from my fear? Hell no. If anything it made me more aware of my mortality. Also? Even though there were more safety checks than I could count, I wasn’t able to *really* believe the harness system would hold up my hulking body. I clearly have trust issues.
But I spread my wings a tiny bit. And for one small second, I didn’t fly. But I sure as hell kicked my phobia in the ass and made it think a bit.
And that’s all I ask of you too.
Unless it involves clowns. Then all bets are off.