The seeds might have been planted when, as a child, I didn’t climb the trees clear to the top like my brother did. I may have missed an opportunity to immunize myself to heights at an early age.
A photo opportunity during my reporter days took me to the top of a grain elevator. Those tall white cement tubes stood at least 100 feet tall and the manager who offered me the photo shoot also offered me a rough elevator ride to the top.
But that was nothing compared to watching him jump from one elevator to the next. The distance between the two was two feet or less – an easy jump any time except when seeing a 100-foot drop under your shoes.
I did it.
Twice. Coming and going. And got some spectacular aerial shots of our little town.
But my heart pounds a bit just telling the story.
But things got worse once I had children. Our family visited some beautiful bluffs one day and I got to watch my offspring scrambling up and down the rock formations.
If the elevator was 100 feet, this bluff fell down 200 feet. I don’t know, maybe more. You lose that assessing ability when your eyes fog over.
I scooped up the four-year-old and found myself wanting to hang onto the belt of the other two, even if one was 8 and the other was 14.
And then I had to watch the Fellowship of the Ring gang run across the Bridge of Khazad-dum, a pencil-thin bridge through Moria. Yeah, yeah, I know it was a movie and, yeah, I know it was totally computer generated.
I still hung onto my chair as though the entire fellowship might slip over the edge into oblivion.
If I had another chance to jump two feet over a 100-foot drop, I might give the camera to my brother.