Monday, 20 January 2014

don't look down.......


There is just one thing that terrifies me and that is height.
I am unable to climb a ladder beyond the sixth or seventh rung, I cannot lean out of a first story window and I once had to be led off  the observation platform of Seattle's Space Needle by a friendly Japanese tourist when I " froze" at the guard rail.
It has been a life long fear.
Having said this.....when I was 22 , I did jump out of a small Cessna airplane at 1500 feet for charity ( a fact that I am sure my sister in law Jayne will testify to here for she watched me do it!) and to this day I cannot quite believe that I actually did it!......perhaps it was just the foolishness of youth......perhaps it was just the borrowed Ativan tablet...who knows.........
Today, I still cannot cope with anything above seven feet!

And yet I am totally fascinated with height. I have made a point of going up as many skyscrapers as I am able.....I love flying ( although I am getting more and more nervous of turbulence the older I get).... And one of my favourite films has to be Towering Inferno.

Last night I watched a tv documentary about the free runner, James Kingston called rather unimaginatively Don't Look Down .The 22 year old has overcome his intensely felt fear of heights and spends much of his free time hanging from and climbing up cranes and towers across the UK.......

I see that the documentary has been slated this morning, for being irresponsible and dangerous... which is a shame... For despite depicting this young man's odd obsession, the documentary was able to capture Kingston as a thoughtful, measured, and spiritual young man.
Height literally has given him the ability to discipline himself and his life.
It was an interesting study  of self discovery.

46 comments:

  1. I can empathize with your fear of heights, having lived with someone with the same fear. (He had to helped off the top of the World Trade Center in NYC.) I have no fear of heights, but a very specifc fear only of climbing off a ladder on to a roof (and back again). I have no idea why, but I completely freeze. I'd sooner jump out of a plane than climb off the top step of a ladder.

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    1. I always get the urge to fall forward over a sheer drop......

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  2. I'm with you on the height thing...I don't even like standing on a chair to reach my top cupboards.

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  3. You and Lovely Hubby both, he has a fear of heights that totally explains his being in a submarine for 25 years of his working life!!

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    1. Perhaps that why I like hen houses..... Only one story

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  4. I'm scared of heights too and would not jump out of a plane or bungey jump or paraglide or walk up a cliff face! I can just imagine my stomach doing somersaults or being sick! Well done on your jump for charity - you have a lot of bottle!

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    1. I broke my collar bone as I recall

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  5. I fear heights, water, crowds, tight spaces. I also share delores' dislike ^. more power to people who CAN deal with these things.

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  6. Heights are a big problem for me as well - I can't go up a ladder, standing on a chair is a bit iffy and going into the loft ( short ladder but looks over the stairwell!) is a no no. But I have climbed ladders to get to archeological sites AND flown open cockpit gliders -

    My idea of hell is an glass sides/floored lift. I couldn't even watch this programme - would make me feel too ill.

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    1. I enjoyed playing in the scenic elevator at San Francisco's regency hotel...... It was in the film towering inferno

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  7. Me too, my knees turn to jelly after one or two rungs. I have never been in my loft.

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  8. *goes green*...Bleeeeerch.
    Jane x

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  9. I don't have a fear of heights, and I happily went to the top of the World Trade Center! But I do get nervous about climbing ladders, I'm always afraid the ladder will collapse under me.

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    1. I never got the chance to go up the trade centre
      Though I remember standing beneath it once and it took my breath away

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  10. 7 feet? you are a brave soul! i get dizzy climbing my step stool to my spice cabinet! i had to walk down the steps from the first elevator stop in the eiffel tower. it was not one of my prouder moments!

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  11. They ban a program about a kid doing height antics, but they have no problem putting out a show about serial killers.

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    1. Good point!
      For some in the reactionary press the programme would incite silly climbing behaviour.... But in my mind it could inspire young people to better things.... The boy/ man in it was a credit

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  12. I found out I am now afraid of heights when we stopped at the top of the London Eye. it moves so slowly. I was stuck to the seat.

    Weird as years ago as a kid I would climb trees, in and out of my top floor bedroom window on to the flat roof and off I went. *Sorry Mum*

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    1. Now I loved the eye
      But I made sure I didn't look directly DOWN

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  13. I commend Mr. Kingston for conquering his fear of heights in such a way, but I still think he's a bit crazy lol. I have a pretty bad fear of heights myself. I've never even ridden a roller coaster!

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    1. So many of us have the same fear!

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  14. I was fascinated by the programme John but wanted the lad to find something else to fire up his passion...I felt for his mother so.
    I too hate heights and had to watch from behind my fingers but he seems to be a bright lad...I don't want to imagine him falling and dying.

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    1. I think he came over rather well too

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  15. Two of my greatest fears ...height and water....and yet I have flown over the Atlantic six times...go figure! I knew and still know that I would never see your beautiful country several times as well as others unless I got on that plane.

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    1. Me too....... You feel as though you are in a set of a film on a plane though don't you?

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  16. No heights here, either. I will paint the barn, but only up to where I can reach from a few rungs up on the ladder...planes are fine...but get me up high in a balcony or roof, and I feel dizzy...gotta say, being in a submarine would drive me crazy, too!

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  17. So now we know your third weakness...now I am picturing a Scotch egg and a sad-looking bulldog atop a high, thin tower.

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    1. You know me so well ,!!

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  18. I'm scared of heights. And depths. I'm only really comfortable at absolute sea level. No heels, thin socks :-)

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  19. Good thing Chris isn't a basketball player!!

    I have a few height concerns myself......I do not enjoying flying at all....I will not leave my seat!! lol

    Thank goodness Ron doesn't have this fear....he is the climber here.
    That guy on the bridge suspension cables.....makes me dizzy!!

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  20. I share your incremental fear of flying as I get older. I loved flying, but now I think I'm just pressing my luck. I always loved going up to the top of buildings, like the World Trade Center in NYC. 9/11 shook my resolve. One thing I would love to do, however, is to do the climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge, if I ever get to Australia.

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    1. I know what you mean.. The last time I was up the Empire State. The sight of planes landing and taking off in Newark made me shiver

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  21. Oooooh I too have no head for heights these days...I used to be fine, but no longer...but I'm not consistent. Last summer we were suspended a couple of hundred feet above Brighton and I was fine, but I can't get within a dozen feet of the edge of a high building...and even watching heights on TV can terrify me!

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    1. Funny how sometimes our psychi allows us to do some things but not others

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  22. My late father was a mountain climber, but I haven't inherited his extreme madness. During a recent building project, Lady Magnon was shinning up and down very high ladders (and an even higher roof) without the slightest sign of panic..... I was amazed and very impressed.

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    1. Let's have a lady blog entry photo up a ladder then!

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  23. Fear of height is very logical, John. Especially if you fall or a plane should crash. Planes travel at 500 miles per hour and at a height of 37000 feet plus. I find plane flight very boring and can't wait to get my feet back on the ground. I will still fly though. Thinking of going on a sun holiday soon. Have you any holiday plans?

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    1. Copenhagen and Spain hopefully!
      Are there any skyscrapers in Sweden?

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  24. Oh the critics will slate anything as they seem to think it means people will immediately be climbing up the sides of skyscrapers as soon as they've watched it.

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  25. I am somewhat catastrophic too so add that to the height problem... When I ride one of the scenic elevators it is all I can do to not break the window and fling myself out ! hahahahahaha not so great if you don't like heights !

    cheers, parsnip

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  26. Going to the top of my step ladder in the kitchen terrifies me. I've eaten in the Space Needle restaurant a few times, but I don't think I ever went outside.

    Love,
    Janie

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  27. I had a similar experience to you in the Toronto CN Tower. I had to be led off. When in Seattle I much prefer going to Pike's Market than to the Space Needle. Even reading everybody's comments my stomach is churning. The older I get, the worse the fear gets. I come by it honestly, my Dad is still terrified of heights and is now 88!

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  28. We don't mention THAT movie around here.

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  29. I'm right there with you, John.
    I have to say that he is crazy, but if it helped his life, more power to him.

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  30. I am not afraid of heights, per se, although i don't trust in my own abilities of balance to help me, so i avoid standing on the highest rung of the ladder, for example.

    Like Mitchell is moving, i have a fear of that "step off the ladder to the roof" thing. I didn't realize how bad it was until this fall when i sealed the storm window for winter (old house has old windows with the storm windows one seals shut for winter), and i had to walk to the edge of the roof and go down the ladder. I had worked out that it was easier to put the storm window through the open window, and crawl outside to the relatively flat roof part to seal the window, and simply use the ladder when i was done to climb down.

    Until i actually had to get on the bloody ladder. No idea why i got so worked up and had to take teeny tiny baby steps to get myself to do it. Halfway down the ladder i started shaking, and i sobbed as i got near the bottom rung. I was relieved and angry and startled that i had gotten so fearful.

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