When you’re actually standing in front of the O2 arena, you realise just how huge it actually is, and all the while acting calm in front of my family in the waiting room, my head was going crazy with the negative possibilities that actually doing this would bring: “What if I end up sliding back down it?” “Would I bounce off the side into the river Thames?” “Once I’m up there, I still have to come back down!”. Even though my imagination was running wild, I was intent on facing my fear of heights and experiencing the climb over a monument.
My aunt had booked tickets with ‘Up at the O2’ so that I could climb over it to celebrate my 17th birthday (it will be my 19th birthday this year, so this was a long time ago but it’s still the best thing I’ve done) and as I’ve always been quite an adrenaline junkie, the whole day was pretty lit; we started off taking a speed boat tour along the River Thames,during which I nearly lost my phone forever after making the clever decision of trying to film. When we eventually arrived at the arena, we were given blue suits to wear along with harnesses and heavily gripped shoes to stop us from slipping (the concept that we could slip without these shoes did not make me feel any better); after waiting quite a while, we were led by an instructor to a set of stairs that took us to the starting point and ngl, those stairs were probably more scary than the climb itself. Of course, as it’s just my luck, I was picked to climb first, essentially leading the rest of the group up the slope – and it really was a slope. The angle at which we were climbing was ridiculous, practically leaning backwards to move forwards and all the while the professionals were just strolling up besides us without a care in the world – the nervous farts were going on more than ever.
Getting the hang of un-clipping and re-clipping the harness onto the wires whilst walking upwards was the hardest part but it happened relatively quickly, and gave me more confidence due to the control that I had over my own safety. As we climbed further, the nerves eased off and I began to fully enjoy the experience, eventually looking back down at the rest of the group to see that they were quite a way behind me. It wasn’t a long climb to the top at all, and when we arrived onto flat ground, the reason behind doing it in the first place dawned on me as with every turn, I could see over the top of the city that I adore. The photos that I’ve posted will give you a glimpse of just how amazing the view was (even though my USB wiped most of the photos of the actual views, so you’ll just have to put up with the cheesy photos of me and my family); I couldn’t quite believe that I was standing on top of the very place where the likes of Prince and Beyonce had performed to thousands of fans. We stayed at the top for about 20 minutes, with everyone taking photos and filming the memory to relive later, but we eventually had to leave the beautiful view behind and head back down to normal ground. Yet, when I remembered just how steep the walkway is, the adrenaline came rushing straight back; on the way down I was the last to go, so at least if I were to fall, everyone would be going down with me?? The walk down was much harder than the walk up as – despite being physically easier – pace and balance had to be maintained and it was vital that the harness was un-clipped and re-clipped at the right moment, otherwise I would have gone flying backwards, which would not have been pretty. The journey down was much quicker than the way up and in no time at all everyone was back on home ground, yet looking back up at the arena, it made me want to relive it all over again straight away.
I would 1000000% recommend the climb to anyone and everyone, it is honestly the most memorable thing I’ve done and I would not hesitate to do it again in the summer. If you are an adrenaline junkie yourself or you want to face your fear of heights, head straight over to the O2 website and book your tickets to climb. I would love to climb at sunset as I originally climbed in the day and you can choose when to climb yourself – in the day, at sunset, twilight, or even as a private party. The cost to climb is currently £28 per person, and although it sounds expensive it is definitely worth the money!
If I’ve inspired you like the motivational person I am, take a look at more information for ‘Up at the O2’ here: https://tickets.aegeurope.com/upattheo2/