The young man next to me is sitting on the floor beside one of the many supports. Â He looks around every once in awhile trying to gather his courage. Â I started talking to him, asking where he was from, what he’s going to school for, etc. trying to distract him from the fact that we’re 50 ft in the air. Â Eventually, after a lot of coaching from the officers and support from the other cadets, he made it down the wall and was back up a few minutes later with a smile on his face ready to conquer the open side.
I don’t have a fear of heights (that was knocked out when I did a ropes course in the rafters of an ice rink) but as I told the cadet who was getting his courage to conquer his fear of heights, I do have a fear of starting conversations out of nowhere with strangers â€” which I am slowly overcoming as I work through my internship. Â Being able to start a conversation with a stranger and being good at small talk is something I admire in people. Â I always wished I had that ease with people I didn’t know.
But if you don’t ask, you’ll never get answers. Â Conversation is a very important skill to have and it opens up so many opportunities. Â As a traveler, I am excited to use this growing skill to meet new people that can show me things off the beaten path that I wouldn’t have come across. Â It’s amazing the answers and instruction you receive when you admit that you don’t know something!
Near the end of the training, I had the chance to rappel down the tower myself. Â Though I had never officially rappelled, it was similar to the skills used in rock climbing and I made it down with no problem. Â I even scared the cadre (instructors) a little with the ease in which I had completed both sides of the tower. Â But for me, the rappelling was just another reward to complement the steps I had taken fifty feet up in the air working on my own fears.