I am a baby. I'm not afraid to admit that, especially right when I back out on going on some tall ride at an amusement part. For as long as I can remember, heights have never been friendly to me. I always envisioned falling out of my seat or the whole contraption collapsing for some ridiculous reason. I never wanted to do anything about it either, because I thought it was a pretty reasonable and common fear.
Then came this trip to Costa Rica. I knew we would be doing some stuff out of my comfort zone like zip lining through the rain forest canopy at night and taking some leaps from waterfalls (they were never more than 30 feet though, no worries). Each of us had the chance to pick an activity to do each day, and I decided to push myself.
"Canyoneering in the Rain Forest" seemed like the perfect thing for me. Rappelling down cliff faces, a waterfall, and dropping into a river all felt pretty uncomfortable but not so unreasonable. The first three drops were no more than 45 feet, so I felt perfectly fine. Then the last drop came. Our guide turned to us and said, "Okay guys, now this is the last drop. It is the waterfall drop and it is 120 feet to the bottom." I didn't know if I had it in me at first.
But once I got to the edge after being secured to the ropes, I pushed off and felt nothing but pure joy. I had to ride a zip line to the center of the waterfall (it's dry season here, so it was more of a water stream) before beginning my descent. Despite the less-than-impressive waterfall, the rock face was very slippery. No matter though, because I rappelled to the bottom with no anxiety or worry in my body.
That wasn't the tough part. After we all got to the bottom, our guide directed our attention straight above us. A suspension bridge crossed the small canyon we stood in, more than 120 feet in the air. They said it was optional, I decided to give it a try. How hard can that be if I just dropped 120 feet into this same canyon?
I was terrified. Going across, I could only think of when the possible instant could be that the whole bridge would snap. The constant rocking and unsteady footing didn't help my anxiety much. I clutched the side cables with my life, not daring to look down. Once I crossed, I was told we have to go back across in order to get lunch. I thought I couldn't do it. But that photo above? I took it roughly 40 feet out on the bridge, hands-free, with a straight drop of 120 feet below me to a shallow pool of water.
I felt so accomplished knowing that I had just done so many things in one day that I would have never dared to consider years ago. I still don't think I could take on a roller coaster just yet, but maybe a Ferris Wheel. Start off slow? Maybe this is the start of me finally getting over my fear of heights, and I can't be more thankful for this chance.