Heights and Spiders
Since I was about five years old, I have only feared one thing. Heights. Okay wait, spiders too, omg ew. Anyways, I’ve always hated heights. Not heights like standing on the Golden Gate Bridge and looking down, because I always knew if I fell off, I wouldn’t get hurt. I would straight up die.
I was more afraid of the shorter heights. Standing on top of a building, zip-lining, that sort of thing. The kind of heights where you can break bones and like actually feel it when you hit the ground. So this semester, when we were working on roofing our playhouses, my first thought was, “no way in hell I’m getting up there.” So I avoided it as much as possible, until one day when it was just me and my teammate, Rosie.
“Come on Kat, it’s like eight feet high!” I felt that horrible lump rise in my throat as I looked at the top of our tiny house, then forced myself to glance over at Andreas and Nich, who were hanging off of their (much taller) house like monkeys. As I began to climb the ladder, Dan came up to me. “We’re not standing on those, -here,” he laughed as he precariously balanced a plank of wood between the two ladders. I had now confirmed that indeed, there was NO WAY in hell that you could get me to stand on that. Nope, send me into a pit of spiders. I’m sure Dan saw the way Rosie and I looked at each other, because he began to climb up onto the plank of wood and jump up and down on it. “See it’s perfectly safe!” I winced and looked at the ground, I couldn’t watch this guy break his legs when this platform collapsed. I waited, anticipating a large cracking sound, which to my surprise didn’t come.
With shaky legs, I forced one heavy foot in front of the other. I looked up at the ladder that was looming over me. I climbed onto the first step, as I grasped the railing with sweaty palms. Before I knew it, my biggest nightmare had come true. I was wedged onto a tiny board with two other full grown people. Dan then decided that my heart hadn’t endured enough terror for one day, and began to jump on the board. After begging him to stop, he began showing us the proper way to begin roofing and nailing down the shingles, snd we began nailing from the edge of the roof. All was well, until my arms couldn’t reach any farther to nail down another row. “Alright Kat, lets go,” Rosie said as she scrambled up the ladder with confidence. I desperately looked for an escape, some excuse, anything to avoid sitting on that roof. As my luck would have it, there was absolutely no way to get out of the situation.
I climbed to the top of the ladder, then proceeded to do the dumbest thing a person with a fear of heights could do. Go ahead take a guess, (I’ll make you guys brownies if you get this right). Bam, you guessed it. I looked down. My knuckles turned white as I grabbed the sides of the ladder. Before I could react, Rosie grabbed my arm and hoisted me over the foot long gap between the ladder and the roof. I then found myself facing a new epidemic. There was nothing to hold onto! The roof was burning hot as the sun melted together the shingles. I followed Rosie’s commands, passing her various tools, nailing and cutting shingles, measuring, and managing to get in the way every few minutes.
After spending an hour of burning in the sun, it was time to leave. I happily opted to be the first to climb down the ladder. But guess what I did. Thats right, you already know. Before I could panic, Rosie literally picked me up and lowered me down the ladder. Like she picked me up like I was a kitten stuck in a tree. Once my feet hit the ground, I was exhilarated. That was fun! We should do it again! I can’t wait for the next class! I was beyond excited that I had conquered another one of my fears. I think that the best thing that this class teaches us, is teamwork. Without Rosie and Dan, I would have never been able to get onto that roof. So if you’re reading this, thanks!
For eleven years, I was scared of heights, but not anymore. Next challenge, spiders.