Where are those brown trousers? I’m not exaggerating when I say that I am absolutely terrified. Let’s call it ‘Brown Alert’. People (who aren’t abseiling) tell me that I’ll be fine and there’s nothing to worry about. People (who are abseiling) tell me I can’t chicken out as I’ll be letting everyone down. No pressure, then? Obviously, they don’t understand the panic that is brought on by the mere thought of being at that height, let alone being suspended from it! I wonder if they understand that I also fear being ill tomorrow and having my choice taken out of my hands, as to whether I participate.
I’ve been watching You Tube videos of Tyne Bridge Abseils, trying to pick up an idea of what to do. Some abseilers had electrician’s tape wrapped around their shoes, to give them a bit more grip – I don’t have any of that. Can’t imagine Sellotape being much good. I think it must be terrifying to feel as though you are slipping (even though you are attached to a rope). Your brain must think, “Oh my God! I’ve fallen off a bridge,” in the millisecond before the harness takes your weight. It may also think, “What the hell am I doing on the wrong side of the railing on a bridge?”
My sister wants us to go down at the same time. I’m not so sure. She has an infectious laugh and, if she sets us all off, we have a chance to be consumed by hysterical laughter (leaving me unable to function). It’s a little like the giggle loop from Coupling. You try and compose yourself, but you just can’t!
I wouldn’t condemn anyone who thought they could do an event like this, and then couldn’t, when the time came. It’s human nature to judge people by your own standards, but every once in a while, you have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. If their shoes were perched, precariously, almost 100ft off the ground, would you?
For now, I’m off to panic. I’m still gratefully accepting sponsors (link at the right of this blog). Hopefully, I’ll speak to you soon.