Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Stepping Out {SOL 6-21-16}

I have a fear of heights.

Always have.

This fear has kept me off rollercoasters, deterred me from becoming an astronaut, and helped me avoid taking rides on winding roads that snake around mountains. (Luckily, there aren't any mountains in southeastern Wisconsin.)

Recently, my family took a day trip to Chicago. Hannah wanted to go to the top of the Willis Tower.

You may know that the Willis Tower is one of the tallest buildings in the world. It is a part of the iconic Chicago skyline, often the first thing you see as you drive toward the city. At the top of the tower is an observation deck where on a clear day, you can see four states.

A few years ago someone got the brilliant idea to put glass ledges on the observation deck so visitors could step out and over the city.

"You'll never catch me doing that," I said when I heard about this high-flying new addition.

I should have never said 'never'.

We boarded the elevator for our 60 second ride up the 1,353 feet to the observation deck. After circling around the observation deck and looking at the city from every direction, it was time to get in line to step out onto the ledge.

"Mom, are you going to do it?" my daughter asked.

I looked ahead in line at the people already on the ledge. They made it look like no big deal.

Maybe I could do this....

"Sure," I told her. I reminded myself of Eleanor Roosevelt's famous quote: "You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

Our time in line came and we all stepped out onto the ledge. It was a rainy, dreary day, but the view was still pretty amazing. I looked around -- and down -- and was surprised that I felt no fear.  We snapped a few pictures then moved along for the next people who were patiently waiting in line to have their turn.





So I did it! I faced my fear of heights and prevailed!!

Who knows...maybe next week I'll start applying to astronaut school. 

But rollercoasters are still out of the question.




13 comments:

  1. Oh I love the quote: "You must do the thing you think you cannot do."! I am going to write that one down. Bravo to you for taking the plunge, not literally! I too am afraid of heights and those glass observation decks. I could just feel that prickly sweat as you talked about stepping out there. Astronaut school or riding a roller coaster, I'll cheer you on either way! ~Amy

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  2. Bravo to you for facing your fears. We are stronger than we know, aren't we? I've never been to the observation deck at the Willis tower. I just might have to make a point to stop there and check it out. I can imagine the breath stealing anxiety you must've felt coupled with that sliver of exhilaration for facing your fear. :) Good for you!

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  3. Bravo to you for facing your fears. We are stronger than we know, aren't we? I've never been to the observation deck at the Willis tower. I just might have to make a point to stop there and check it out. I can imagine the breath stealing anxiety you must've felt coupled with that sliver of exhilaration for facing your fear. :) Good for you!

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  4. Wow, a 60 second elevator ride means "high". Congratulations on facing this fear and stepping out! The view was a reward, and I'm glad you didn't waver at all, Jennifer. What an amazing sight to see! I don't mind upside down rides, etc., but roller coasters are not for me, either. I always feels as if I'm going to fall off!

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  5. What a great story! I love the picture of your family's feet; it epitomizes the experience and your conquering the fear. An inspiring post!

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  6. I knew you'd do it. You are BRAVE. You can FLY! I laughed out loud (literally) when I read the line, "Who knows...maybe next week I'll start applying to astronaut school." Hahahaha! See you soon!!!

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  7. I do not like heights either and the line where you said the words "glass edges" "out over the city" my stomach lurched. Then when I saw the pictures...oh my I almost couldn't look. Good for you! I don't know if I could have done that! I know I won't be checking into any astronaut schools! :)

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  8. Wow! Yeah for you! I was in Chicago last September, and t.r.i.e.d. to do it, but just couldn't. Over Thanksgiving, we travelled to Toronto, where I was able to walk on the glass floor of their Tower. I was determined after Chicago...
    Brava! Great way to start the break!

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  9. Good for you! My husband and I aren't fans of heights and still swear about driving down a mountain in Colorado. The impending snow didn't help. I love this slice. You are so brave!

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  10. Wow...those photographs terrify me! Good for you for going ahead with this - the payoff for your courage is definitely those views.

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  11. There is no way in hell you would get me up there. I am, however, impressed that you could manage it. My limit is a four-story building, and that is testing it. I can't believe I used to climb mountains when I was young.

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  12. Kudos to you! I'm impressed with your courage and your determination to push past a fear. I've always loved that Eleanor Roosevelt quote. Great picture of your family's feet! Can't wait to hear how astronaut school goes! ;)

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  13. Kudos to you! I'm impressed with your courage and your determination to push past a fear. I've always loved that Eleanor Roosevelt quote. Great picture of your family's feet! Can't wait to hear how astronaut school goes! ;)

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