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Beating Acrophobia and Starting From Scratch





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Uploaded on Dec 19, 2010

Personality Song Title:
RBD: "Empezar Desde Cero" ("Starting From Scratch")

My situation is a little unique in that I completed my bucket list by my early 30s with only two exceptions I can think of: completing my ROM: Spaceknight collection (which I did this year) and reading the last of Zelazny's Amber novels.

Transition was never on my bucket list. It was simply a decision I made this Spring.

I had a pretty good bucket list, but since I didn't expect a long life, I attacked it with vigor.

The last major item that finished it off was the result of about two and a half decades of challenging effort, of which I am more than a little proud.

From childhood, I suffered from severe acrophobia, the fear of heights, which may or may not have stemmed from my crib having been suspended from the ceiling of an A-frame house when I was little. To this day, I am frightened to be so much as a foot or two off the ground, on a step stool for instance.

But I worked hard to live with the fear, my earliest memories of which date back to the age of 4 or 5. At that time I was urged to hop from a diving board just a few feet above the water at the deep end of an eight-foot deep swimming pool. My heart is racing even now as I type this, my fingers shaking almost too much to type.

I remember crying and struggling to make myself get off that diving board, winding up severely scratched from the abrasive surface. After some time, I managed it, with a lot of urging from my older brother James.

Over the years, I cultivated the ability to stand on step stools, short stages, ladders. By the age of 17, I was able to stand on a stage and sing before a crowd of well over a thousand people at a church summer camp.

A few years later I was in Navy boot camp and had to use two- and three-story open staircases mounted on the outsides of barracks buildings in RTC Orlando. I only collapsed and fell down the stairs once.

In college I mounted the stage again, earning Best Supporting Actor for my role in a children's musical we performed in the historic Saenger Theatre in Mobile, AL.

On September 11, 2000, I went skydiving with two friends and insisted that I be the first one off the plane. With the exception of the two items mentioned earlier, that marked the last item off my bucket list ten years and a few months ago.

Since then, I've been working on a new list.


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