I haven’t managed to build up the courage to go on amusement park rides for a couple of years now, due to my fear of heights. So, when the opportunity to go zip-lining in a park by London’s South Bank arose, I thought, what a perfect opportunity to conquer my niggling fear of heights. That, and, “oh shit, oh shit, oh shit”.
When I arrived at the top of the platform, the wind was causing it to sway ever-so-slightly from side-to-side. This did nothing to settle my high-level hangover, or my vertigo. Logically, I knew that the zip-lining set-up was safe – I was walked carefully through very thorough safety procedures with the other teenagers that were doing it – but the irrational side of my brain was shouting loudest as I stepped off the platform and allowed the zip to take my weight. I was immediately propelled forward, and whizzed through the air like a terrified, and terribly graceless gazelle.
It’s the longest and fastest city centre zip-line in the world, they say. I wouldn’t know much about that, but it was very fun, and I feel somewhat accomplished, having faced my fear. I may yet ride a Ferris wheel again.
By Paul Cassidy