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Legacy Genealogy Cruise Day 4 - Rappelling in Skagway

Whew. We're alive!

Today, in Skagway, Alaska, the 4th day of our Legacy Genealogy Cruise, has gone down as the day that I faced one of my biggest fears head on, and I was triumphant. There honestly was a little part of me that questioned if I would be here afterwards and wow does it feel good to have accomplished what we did.

I'm certain that somewhere in my recent DNA test it shows that I have an extraordinary fear of heights. After today, I'm convinced that I must also have a courage gene, and it took every bit of that courage to do what we did.

As my wife and I stood together at the top of the 200-foot cliff and were preparing to step over its edge and rappel down its face, I didn’t think of my kids back home. My life didn’t flash before my eyes. I thought of nothing other than how scared I was. I tried to keep a smile on my face though as I got to face this fear with Tanya by my side.

Tanya volunteered to go first. She bravely turned around, stepped over the edge, leaned back, and made her way down. I wasn’t quite as graceful. I crawled out to the edge, turned around, grabbed on to my guide’s shoulders, then his legs, and slowly straightened my legs and leaned back. My confidence grew when the guide verified that the rope was holding my weight. Not looking down once, I slowly rappelled down, stopped for a picture about halfway, and then celebrated when my feet touched the ground.

I won’t say that I’ve overcome my fear of heights, but I accomplished something that I never thought I would. If my body didn’t hurt so much tonight, I’d probably be standing a little taller than I normally do. So, kids, if you’re reading this, just know that not everything in life comes easy. In fact, the most worthwhile things in life take tremendous effort – and they should.

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