Friday, February 28, 2014

Back Story 3: The thrill-seeker

I have written about my fear of flying several times here. I am no stranger to taking planes but I get the same feeling of trepidation every time the plane taxis through the runway, stops and then gathers power, moves forward and eventually takes off.

I always think at that moment that there is nothing I can do and that my life is in other people's -- and machines' -- hands. My palms get sweaty and I cannot bring myself to sleep or even relax.

Too many episodes of Nat Geo's Air Crash Investigation, I guess. I have seen too many ways a disaster can begin -- and end.

When I spent 14 hours airborne seven years ago, I took advantage of the free in-flight wine. It is a wonder I did not get a hangover and get lost on Schiphol, much less miss the next leg of my flight.

I thought this weekend would be different. I thought I would be less anxious because the kids were with me. Worst case, if I went down, I would not worry about who would provide for/ take care of them since, well, they would be going down with me.

Wrong. I was more anxious than ever.

My struggle with heights was not confined to the airplanes, either. Our host in Cebu had the idea of treating my kids, her kids, two nieces and a nephew to the offerings of Crown Regency. For P700, one can experience the Skywalk -- where you walk on a narrow ledge on the 38th floor around the building -- and the Edge Coaster -- where you are strapped to a car that does the same, from the 39th. You can tilt the car to about 45 degrees giving you a feeling of looking down into the city and the mountains and the sea. It is all breathtaking.

I had no intention of going but they needed an even number of thrill seekers. I found myself Thrill-Seeker Number 10. So, yeah, it was almost like I had to.

I cannot say I had fun. While up there, I never once reminded myself where I was. I put the lever down immediately so that my Edge Coaster buddy Elmo said the ride was boring. (He was threatened with a spanking if he dared incline our seats.) I got teased about a momentary inability to smile.

Josh and Bea A looked perfectly at ease looking down from the 39th.



Meanwhile, I just can't grip the handle hard enough. 

The fearless 10

Perhaps it's just me getting old. At least I got to tick off an item in my bucket list -- an item that was never even there to begin with.

And I have certificates to show for my feat. 

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