Sunday, February 26, 2006

Heights

I discovered something weird this morning. I went on a hike with my brother and, instead of charging down a regular trail, we decided to try a path that wound up a mountain. No biggie, true? But, I have to say, I've never been on a stretch that freaked me out so much. It was pretty steep at times, littered with rocks that seemed to tumble out from under my inadequately soled shoes. At one point, I realized that if I looked at the view one more time, I was going to start panicking, so I locked my gaze on the ground.

Am I afraid of heights?

Sure, I've never relished being too close to a window on the 53rd floor of a hotel. And I did have a slight "incident" on the sun Ferris wheel at California Adventure a few years ago. But it wasn't until today that I really thought about something I'd read regarding the human condition. "They" say that many of us are afraid of heights not because we're afraid we're going to fall--but because we're afraid we're going to jump.

In a way, I can understand what "they" are saying now. What I felt on that mountain wasn't suicidal, it was just more of a flash of my body angling forward for no good reason as I stood on that mountain, as if my balance was out of control.

Sounds crazy, but I can't be the only one to have ever experienced this. Right?

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