The closest I have ever come to peeing myself in public was on the London Eye. I have a fear of heights. Not just a small fear of heights – a monster fear of heights. It has gotten so bad that I have to take Gravol when my shoes have a heel that exceeds 2 inches. About a month ago, I found myself in London. The BF suggested we take a ride on the London Eye. The London Eye is a giant enclosed Ferris wheel that allows the rider to experience incredible views of the city – from extreme heights. At first, the plan was for the BF to ride the London Eye while I watched from the bar and/ or snack bar below. (Heavy emphasis on any location with the word bar in it). But when we got to the ticket booth, I had a sudden change of heart. I asked the ticket gals and the ticket guys the same question, “I am extremely afraid of heights. Will this be okay for me?” The response was always the same – “Oh you will be fine. I also have an extreme fear of heights and I love it. I ride it every hour” The logic of this statement struck me as odd – if all these people have an extreme fear of heights, why on earth are they tormenting themselves by working at the London Eye?
I bought a ticket and, because the BF had a fast track ticket (which is a good idea to get you on the ride faster), we were rushed to the front of the line. Our pod arrived and we got on with a lovely British family and three Spanish teens. Before the guy locked the pod door, I asked him what would happen if I lost my mind. He said, “Oh. You will be okay. I am extremely afraid of heights and I love it. I ride it every hour. Besides, there has only ever been one person who freaked out so badly that we had to……” SLAM. LOCK. AHHHH. WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT PERSON? WE WERE OFF.
The ride takes about 30 minutes to complete one full rotation. Fortunately, there is a nice wood bench in the centre, so I instantly sat on that. My heart was pounding. I focused every ounce of my core strength to stop the internal screaming that was happening inside my brain from becoming external screaming. The BF wisely suggested that I close my eyes and go to my happy place. At that point, my happy place was anywhere there was dirt, gravity and a bar/ snack bar.
As the ride progressed, I actually felt brave enough to slightly open my eyes. The ride is so slow and motionless; it was hard to picture
that we were up so high. I started to look around slightly, but I did not move from my bench. The view was truly AMAZING. I began to chat with the lovely British family that were riding with us and we began to laugh at things we thought we saw happening at Buckingham Palace. I really started to enjoy the view. Before I knew it, the rotation completed and we were asked to exit.
I was numb. I was shaky. And I WAS SO PROUD OF MYSELF for doing it. Despite my fears, it was worth it. The view. The experience. The memory. Riding the London Eye was one of the highlights of my trip to Europe. If anyone was to ask me if they should do it, I would reply, “Oh you will be fine. I also have an extreme fear of heights and I love it. I ride it every hour.”