Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MONTH TWO: Fear of Heights

(First of all, the lovely and talented Corrine Jackson is celebrating her blogiversary this week. She has an awesome and informative blog, so I recommend that you check it out! Also, I am participating in the celebration by guest posting about the greatest writing lesson I learned this year: detachment. You can read that here.)

What is “Month 2,” you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

I’ve always been kind of a wimp, afraid of heights and steep slopes and speed and rollercoasters and spiders and Public Displays of Anything and…the list goes on. But the main character of DIVERGENT, Beatrice, is not at all like me. She’s not afraid of taking risks. And she undergoes several tests of bravery throughout the book. So in order to be a little more like her, I decided to do my own tests of bravery, once a month until the book is released. Sometimes they won’t seem like tests of bravery at all, because I am afraid of things that other people aren’t afraid of. But to me, they always will.

Last month, I jumped into a fountain with a huge umbrella, encouraging all the people in Millenium Park to stare at me (Month 1: fear of public humiliation.)

This month? Fear of heights.

And steep slopes.

Let me give you a hint.

(Just to give you a sense of perspective: that's me. I am 6 feet tall. That's a freaking huge ramp.

Note: this stunt does not involve any bike-riding. I don't do stunts that are guaranteed to maim me.)

That 18-foot ramp is the Vert Ramp at the Dew Tour, which is an action sports competition with five events. Each event takes place in a different city. Chicago’s stop was all about BMX. Remember when you were little and you were afraid of riding the bike because it’s hard to maneuver and if you fall off, it hurts, not just because you just hit some hard pavement, but because the bike flipping falls on top of you and the gears can rip your jeans? Yeah, the Dew Tour guys aren’t afraid of that anymore. They aren't even afraid of extremely steep, extremely tall ramps.

My wonderful sister, Ingrid, works for Alli, the company that makes the Dew Tour happen. She’s far more fearless than I am. This stunt was her idea. (She also arranged it, and filmed it, and edited the film. I have the best sister.)

So here it is. The stunt that made me hyperventilate.

(Also, special thanks to Brian, who talked me through it while I was panicking.

And that gorgeous woman in the picture with me at the end? That's my mom. Hi Mom!)


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