My harness was given its final inspection, the sliding glass doors opened suddenly and then I was stepping outside and onto the platform.
QUARTER-FINALIST 2015 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
Last summer, my best friend and I made a list of everything we were scared of and wanted to conquer before going off to college. Among the fifteen or so other things on this list was my fear of heights. So, on our road trip to Canada this summer we discovered the perfect way to face my fear: the CN Tower in downtown Toronto. It holds the world record as having the highest open air 360° hands free walk and completely terrified me.
On the day of our EdgeWalk we took the subway to Union station, only a few blocks away from the CN tower, the closer we got the less afraid I felt, as the many skyscrapers seemed to dwarf the height of the tower. I remember turning to my friend and saying “It doesn’t seem as tall as it does in pictures, maybe it won’t be so bad,” I had no idea how wrong I was in that moment. Once we entered the tower we found the elevator up to the EdgeWalk office, it had a glass floor and took a mere 58 seconds to make it up the 1122 feet to the observation deck. We found our way to the check in counter to inform them we had arrived, we were asked to sign a consent waiver and my palms started to sweet. My entire body was telling me to back out, but I couldn’t. I needed to face my fears.
We were taken over to a room with glass walls and meet the four other people we would be spending the next hour and a half with. We sat and watched a video on the different safety precautions, then began suiting up in our matching red jumpsuits and thick heavy harnesses. The EdgeWalk staff were friendly and checked us over five or six times before we were escorted by our guide to another elevator that would take us up to the final checkpoint.
The last room had sliding glass doors that lead out onto the platform, monitoring equipment and another employee that would be watching the weather patterns to keep the trip a safe a possible. He proceeded to hook us all up to the guide bar above us and our lovely guide told us it was finally time to go outside. The doors slid open and we started to walk forward to the platform, the wind was whipping around us and I was not scared, but completely terrified. Looking around I felt like I couldn’t breathe, the view was indescribable. Once the group had adjusted to the fact that there was no turning back we started our first activity. The tour guide called it ‘toes over Toronto”. Which is exactly what it sounds like, you walk up the the side of the platform and put your toes over the edge.
When it was my turn I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, but with one final step and there I was on the edge of the platform 1,168 feet above the ground, and I’ve never been so exhilarated.
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