I’m standing on a platform high in the air, at the edge of a forested valley; the tops of the trees are (by my estimate) several hundred feet below me. As I’m trying to erase that frightful picture from my head, a voice behind me pipes up:
“Alright, I want you to let go of the safety bar and just hang there.”
Like hell I will.
I, am afraid of heights. I can’t even go out onto the balcony of my friend’s 26th story apartment suite. So it would only make sense that I, on one relatively warm Sunday afternoon, found myself on top of that zip-lining platform, sitting in a harness much like a baby being carried by a stork, and one second away from letting go of the safety bar above my head and putting all my (rapidly fleeting) faith in some thin man-made straps.
Logically, the tour leader kept reminding us of one important fact: letting go of the safety bar and hanging in midair was the best way (and probably only way) to test if the harness had been done up correctly, and if it would hold our full body weight. If anything went wrong, hopefully it would happen on the platform, and not while one was zipping halfway down the line.
As I was dangling in midair, I was reminded of how important it is to test the limits of a lot of things and how important it is to let go in certain circumstances. I had always wanted to go to zip-lining, but the only way for me to push past my fear and enjoy the experience was to let go while I was on the platform. And when I had the odd Toastmaster come to me and ask if I had always been a natural speaker, I tell them I was the furthest thing from it. There are many days when I’m still petrified, but I know the only way to test my limits and capabilities is to let go and dangle past my comfort zone.