T Nation

Acrophobia


#1

I was recently at a theme park with some friends, and while trying not to ruin the fun for the group, I forced myself on a few rides. I try to keep my cool and whatnot, but I do seem to panic before and during a ride, a look out/down a taller building, etc. I'm not an advanced lifter, but I do look like I lift, and I was wondering how others from the lifting community handle this when children especially handle things like this with no problem. Anything that has helped you? Advice? Discuss?


#2

I'm incredibly afraid of heights, but I love rollercoasters now.

Here's the thing, you're not in danger. You're enclosed in a harness of some kind. People don't regularly die on these rides, what makes you so special?

I think it comes down to the cause of your fear. I'm afraid of heights because I am afraid I will slip, fall, and plummet to my doom. It's the imagination that gets you. In a theme park environment (except water parks), you're safe in the harnessing of the ride. You know you'll be okay, and at that point you can turn your fear off actively and enjoy the sensations of speed and flying.

The water park is an exception and scares the bejesus out of me because you're NOT safe. Those serious slides like Summit Plummet are horrifying and the fact that someone got hurt when I was down in Florida on that 'ride' made it even more off-limits to me. Besides, rollercoasters are fun, high-speed water slides suck. High velocity water is sharp, it stings, and you're just in a bad position.

Here's one more thing I want to mention, my panic is finicky. I remember being up high with open fields around me (on a coaster) and I felt fine, but on Expedition Everest at Disney, where everything's kinda dense around you, I freaked a little.

It really comes down to rationalizing your fear and dealing with it accordingly (like how I love coasters now and refuse to enjoy extreme water parks).


#3

Just take a deep breath. Like like the guy above said, you're quite safe. Think about how much fun it is! How many times the roller coaster has done it before.

Think about this... Would you rather have regrets about not living life to the fullest, or just going for it?

As for looking down a tall building - That can irk anyone. Even me. It's a sense of vertigo. It just gives you that "pit drop" in the stomach.


#4

I had a bad experience on a carnival ride (Super Loop) as a kid, so I'm afraid of coasters. I just don't go there.

Now water parks I fricken love.

I did get on a coaster back in 11th grade, just started dating a girl so I didn't want to look like a wuss. I screamed like a girl on it.


#5

I was absolutely terrified of heights (would even get anxious looking down 2-3 flights of stairs) until I bungy jumped off a 233m building in Macau. Now, I'm not so scared anymore :slightly_smiling:


#6

Are you afraid of falling, or do you get vertigo? I just tell people the theme park can't afford to let someone die on their ride... maybe that's a little blunt?


#7

Beta-blockers!


#8

I was scared until I realized that the people designing the rides, and the safety measures they put in place are ridiculous. For example things aren't just "marginally safe" they're about 10x safer than they need to be ie. the roller coaster track could probably realistically handle a cart 2-3 times as heavy as the one you're riding, going 2-3 times as fast, but they design it so that it doesn't ever approach the point where you're at risk of anything going wrong on purpose.


#9

I do experience vertigo, and am afraid of falling. Being so high up, I will not make any sudden movements or get close to an edge.

Thanks for the advice. I understand that there is a lot of science and money behind roller coasters, buildings, etc. But try telling me that when i'm physically on one.


#10

I dislike heights when my mind can find a hypothetical way for me to fall. If I'm in a high rise building, then that's fine, but standing on a roof that's under construction freaks me out.


#11

Funny, I have the exact opposite experience. I never had a problem with heights growing up, but I've developed one, and bungee jumping was involved.