Do It Afraid Anyway

Gateway ArchHere I go again. Back to the top.

Fifteen years ago, I thought if I faced my fear and went to the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, it would eliminate my fear of heights. Did it work? Um, no.

This week, I had the same opportunity again. I was more excited about it this time. Until we got closer and closer. I thought about backing out, but partly because we were on a mission to get Flat Morgan to the top, I got my ticket and climbed aboard Elevator #4 to travel up the 630 feet.

I’ll admit I was scared. Of what? I don’t really know. (Well, I could envision the arch tipping over...I have a vivid imagination.) But once we got to the top, I did look out the windows and relax. I asked the tour guide if anyone had ever fainted here. He told me of a man that had a heart attack on his beat. Now that would have been scary. But because all the tour guides are trained in CPR and equipped with defibrillators, he and his co-workers (and I’ll add—God!) were able to save this grandfather’s life, while the gentleman’s children and grandchildren looked on.

Once back on solid ground, we watched a video about Lewis and Clark’s expedition in 1803-06 from St. Louis to the Pacific Coast and back. They went through some very life-threatening and scary times. I wouldn’t have lasted a day. They faced one daunting challenge after another, but continued forward anyway, and as a result gathered so much new information about this new land, making unforgettable contributions that millions benefited from.

So maybe I won’t win any “Award for Bravery” just because I’ve ridden to the top of the Gateway Arch twice, and maybe facing my fears won’t ever totally eliminate them, but as long as I’m learning something in the process...about life, about others, about myself, about’s worth it. Just today, I decided to go down a very high water slide (to me) to prove to myself that I could do it. That was my motivation the first time anyway. But the 2nd and 3rd time, I went down just because it was so much fun.

1 comment:

Kay said...

I remember a childhood trip to St. Louis and my one and only trip up those same elevators to the top of the arch. Not only do you have to face the fear of heights, but if you're claustrophobic, those 'elevators' aren't much fun either! (ask my mom -- ha) I remember feeling the 'sway' of the arch at the top and really not wanting to be up there any longer -- but then I realized that the only way down was to get back in the elevator! A 'lose-lose' situation in my mind, but one that had to be faced anyway. :-)

So I applaud your determination, Lisa! good for you! And my only other comment is that I sure hope the water slide was indoors!! ;-)

Enjoy the rest of your trip!


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