I still do not like heights, and this incident occurred across the pond in my favorite country: France.
The second time my fear of heights which involved me assisting an elderly person to ascend a man-made structure swiftly, was at the Eiffel Tower. We were in the city of lights on vacation and absolutely had to visit this world famous structure.
Since it is a notoriously busy tourist destination, we had two choices:
1. Wait in an hour long line for the elevator to the top.
2. Take the stairs, with no wait, and burn off those croissant, chocolate, butter, champagne calories.
Option two it is!
As we began our ascent to the top, I felt good. I felt OK. I felt comfortable because I was walking behind a mother and her adorable children. Though we were going at a slow pace, I reasoned that God wouldn’t let me die on the Eiffel Tower because there were children right in front of me. I have exceptional deductive reasoning skills. It's called logic, look it up.
As we ascended higher and higher though, my anxiety started laying the foundation for a good-sized panic attack. With a burst of adrenaline I sidestepped the mother and children and ran ahead, jumping from step to step, leaving Rob in my dust. I got maybe one more flight up when I got stuck behind an old man and his adorable four-year-old granddaughter. Again, I used my exceptional deductive reasoning skills involving our Lord, and trudged behind them for a few more flights. Unfortunately it was at this time that I happened to look straight down, between the iron grating of the stairs to the concrete sidewalk, some five million yards below me.
And here comes my panic.
Ever so gently, I started pushing the old man in an upward fashion, saying go-go-go-go, to the landing that was a mere seven stairs above us. With one stair between me and sweet freedom, I lunged forward in a triumphant jump to the solid landing with my fists in the air in a V in celebration ofmy victory.
I made it. I succeeded. But most importantly, I survived.