I faced my fears.
I’ve been afraid of heights since childhood, a learned fear from my mom – also afraid of heights – who constantly yanked me back or warned me against getting too close to anything high-up, railings in particular.
On our anniversary, Dave gave me a card with a sentiment about adventuring through life together. For certain, he has nudged me beyond my comfort zone hundreds of thousands of times, experiences I wouldn’t trade for the world.
So when we had a few hours to spare on our anniversary afternoon, we headed toward the Malahat Skywalk, a destination I had seen in a “What to Do on Vancouver Island” magazine.
The Skywalk itself wasn’t scary, a solid wood plank walkway through the tree canopy. And then the structure, this wild spacecraft of metal and wooden ramps heading up and up and up to incredible views of the fjords – totally doable.
As we ascended the walkways, we noticed first a net-web to play on at the top level, and also that the fastest way down again was a spiral slide in the center of the structure. Eek!
I regularly played on net-webs at a theme park when I was a child, so I had Dave hold my hand as we walked back and forth. I wasn’t eager to head to the center and look straight down, but I survived the walking. So … the slide.
Dave encouraged me. “You don’t have to do this, we can walk down…”
I took a deep breath. “I do need to do this.”
I giggled anxiously as others before me shrieked all the way down. On my turn, the worker bee instructed me to stick my athletic shoes firmly into the front pocket of the felt mat, and I was off.
It was exhilarating! Also, over before I knew it.
An older woman at the bottom asked me about it. I confessed to being a huge chicken, so afraid of heights, and yet this was worth the negligible risk. This was fun.
Having faced one fear, I decided I could also endure walks across two suspension bridges that led to beautiful hikes. While both hikes took us over rivers, one in Vancouver took us to several waterfalls and another in Whistler took us to a popular hiking trail where the wreckage of a train derailment has become a graffiti installation.
I still don’t plan to go ziplining or bungee jumping – I want something solid under my feet – and I’ll say this: he makes me brave and I never want to stop adventuring with him.