Monday, December 07, 2009

Darr ke aage jeet hai..

I have had a fear of heights right from my childhood. I always tend to avoid peeping from high rises and mountainous cliffs. The same goes for roller coasters and thrill rides as well. One incident 5 years back, when I was coaxed into jumping onto a roller coaster by a few friends and felt horribly giddy afterwards, further increased by reluctance towards taking up any activity involving high G-forces. I decided never again to undertake any such ride in my life.

Hence, when a friend of mine invited me to join him on visit to an adventure park that had many high intensity thrill rides earlier this year, I was naturally very apprehensive. As I reluctantly joined him on the trip, I kept telling myself that I would not take any of mind-numbing thrill rides on offer under any circumstances. Yet, I finally bowed down to my friend's repeated requests and took one of the rides on offer.

To say that it was a petrifying experience would be an understatement. My head was swiveling like a top. But once done, I felt a strange feeling of accomplishment within me. I felt I had overcome an internal demon. I had "survived" a roller coaster ride!

So, when my friend asked me to join him on the next thrill ride that promised even greater G-forces, I said yes. Even though I knew my heart would be in my mouth again during the ride, I wanted to take that experience to see how I cope with it. Surprisingly, though the second ride scared me as well, it did so much less than the first one.

Ride after ride followed next. Though I felt an element of fear in all of them, it slowly ceased being a mortal one. By the end of the day, as I gingerly walked away from the amusement park with my head still feeling the aftereffects of all the twisting, turning and falling, I almost felt that I had overcome my fear of heights to a great extent.

I few weeks back, when I visited Las Vegas, I wanted to re-test the extent to which I had overcome Acrophobia. Hence I decided to take pay a visit to Stratosphere Tower, the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States and the second tallest in the Western Hemisphere, and take the Big Shot and X-Scream rides, which are the world's highest amusement rides.

Big Shot


I was surprised at the relative lack of fear these rides were able to induce in me as compared to the previous ones I had taken. It reinforced my belief that it is possible to overcome one's deepest fears and insecurities, provided one is willing to take the first step.

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