#250. Did I Become Afraid of Heights in My 30s?

I'm not scared! I'm not scared! I'm not scared at all...hahahaha! | Minnesota State Fair

I’m not scared! I’m not scared! I’m not scared at all…hahahaha! | Minnesota State Fair

I love the Minnesota State Fair. It has a lot less to do with the food than it does with the people watching (top-notch!) and the rides. Oh-man-oh-man-oh-man I love the rides, especially the spinny ones like the Tilt-a-Whirl. If you ever want to see me laugh so hard that I can’t breathe, take me on the Tilt-a-Whirl (or give me some special brownies and let’s watch this scene from Bad Grandpa). Couldn’t wait to hit the Midway. 

However, things this year were a little different. I got extra scrambled on the Scrambler. The tiny roller coaster? I walked away with an annoying kink in my neck.

And then we rode the Skyflyer. 

You’ve seen them at every major carnival: those swings that tower above the midway’s twinkling lights, spinning fast enough to get the centrifugal force’s full effect. Looks kinda fun, right? I hadn’t been on one of those swings in years. I hopped on with a few of my coworkers (we do our annual holiday party at the fair. Yes, in August, Yes, we know it’s weird). 

As we ascended, the anxiety set in.

Why am I trusting this guy with 10 teeth (literally) with my life? Why are we going so high? Wait… what are we going so fast?! Holyshitholyshitholyshit! [Screams!]

That's me in the baseball hat, screaming my face off. | Minnesota State Fair | Photo by Jen van Kaam

That’s me in the baseball hat, screaming my face off. | Minnesota State Fair | Photo by Jen van Kaam

After what felt like 42 seconds, we started slowly returning to earth. I thought to myself, “42 seconds? What a rip!” When my feet finally hit the ground, I was also kind of happy it was over. I was really dizzy and sick to my stomach. Maybe it was the fried pickles… and scotch egg… and chicken in a waffle… and fried corn fritter. But I think it was mostly the height anxiety (on a stick).  

Still screaming. | Minnesota State Fair | Photo by Jen van Kaam

Still screaming. | Minnesota State Fair | Photo by Jen van Kaam

Has anyone else felt like they are way more sensitive to rides as they get older? I don’t get carsick or seasick (proof: this story from that one time I went to a bachelor party). Maybe it was the heights. I don’t know, but I really hope it was a flukey-fluke.

I wasn’t anticipating a ride at the State Fair to add to the Hey Eleanor count, but Skyflyer, you’ve bested me. See you next year, beyotch. 

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Comments (2)

  • Lisa Wulff 3 years ago Reply

    I have this problem too! Every since my late 20’s I get vertigo on any sort of spinny ride… I now avoid them for the migraine that inevitably comes later. I’ve read that its common to have this problem as you get "older," when your inner ear liquid starts to thicken (or maybe it’s that it thins…regardless, it changes). Hopefully it was a one time thing for you!

    molly mogren katt 3 years ago Reply

    Me too! I was prepared for wrinkles and gray hair as I age…but not this! 😉

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