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.