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High place phenomenon

July 18, 2012

See this picture here?

Lovely bridge, eh?  It’s Tukey’s Bridge in Portland, Maine, on the Back Cove running trail. Something weird happens to me when I run over this bridge. No, I don’t get the urge to jump off like some people, which I’ve learnt is actually an urge to live and protect yourself.  That urge actually has a name; it’s dubbed “high place phenomenon” by psychologists. What do *I* get?  As soon as I step on the bridge?

An urge to throw my iPhone over.

It fades as I cross the bridge, and with each subsequent lap over it, but it even happens with similar bridges.  I’m never going to actually throw my phone over the bridge, just like those with the urge to jump off a high place are never actually going to jump, but the strong is there. Every. time.


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