We Faced Our Phobias
Be inspired by three women who are overcoming phobias that were restricting their lives…
“I WAS COMPLETELY OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE”
WHEN I saw the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth while on a day out last year, I announced to my husband Tony out the blue that that I was going to abseil down it,” says Barbara Young.
“I told him I’d ask our son Simon to join me and that I’d do it for our beautiful grandson, Ollie. Ollie died the day before his sixth birthday in 2012 and the Ollie Young Foundation has been set up in his name, to raise money to support paediatric brain tumour research.
“I’m no good with heights, in fact I can’t even climb a ladder, so abseiling down a 100m tower was completely out of my comfort zone.
“As Simon and I stood at the top of the tower in July, ready to abseil down, I was absolutely petrified! The staff kindly agreed to let me go first, so I didn’t have to wait, and they also let Simon and I go together.
“It took five minutes for us to get from top to bottom and I didn’t dare look down once. It had been a beautiful day but unfortunately the heavens had opened by the time of the abseil and it was windy up there too.
“I had to handle the rope with both hands because I have arthritis in them and I just flew down. The Spinnaker team gave plenty of encouragement and I was able to talk to Simon beside me, too.
“I was just buzzing when I reached the bottom. In fact, I still am! I was absolutely chuffed to bits that I had done it and we raised over £2,000 for Ollie’s charity. In fact, I would actually do it again.
“It hasn’t cured my fear of heights, though. I still can’t climb a ladder!” WWW.OLLIEYOUNGFOUNDATION.ORG
Barbara prepares to take the plunge