Author Topic: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)  (Read 27802 times)

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Offline fear in combat is poison

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Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« on: February 08, 2006, 11:47:33 »
Okay, so I have already asked this question at the local recruiting center and had already did a search, but I was more looking for an answer from someone who is either in Basic Training or has recently been there:

- How much would a new recruiter have to deal with heights in BMQ?  (I know there is repelling, but I didn't know how much was done, etc)

- If a recruit has an EXTREME fear of heights, can he be excused from this small portion? (even if it means having to do something else that is harder on you)


I thank you for any feedback that can be provided.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2006, 15:08:01 by George Wallace »

Offline Torlyn

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Re: Hieghts in Basic traning
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2006, 12:06:56 »
I believe for BMQ you do the repelling tower at least once...  I'm sure someone who recently went through BMQ will sound off.

As for being excused...  IT's a question you need to ask yourself.  Part of what BMQ / IAP/BOTP does is force you to push yourself beyond what you believe yourself to be capable of.  You will be asked to function at a high level with no sleep, less food, and more perceived pressure than anything you've experienced in civvy life.

You're afraid of heights.  THere's nothing wrong with that.  I'm terrified of water, and I joined the Navy.  :)  What you need to remember is that one day, you might be a Sergeant leading an attack, and you have to do so on the edge of a cliff/other high area.  How can you ask your troops to do something you won't?  They will obey your orders, it's part of the chain of command.  But if you truly want to LEAD your men, you have to do it from the front.  Be scared later, get the job done now.  The rapel will terrify the hell outta you, and you'll wish you could just leave, but once you go down the tower, it'll be the best feeling in the world.

I haven't overcome my fear of water.  I'm still taking basic swimming lessons, and I have to swallow my fear every time I go.  I still go.  I was terrified to the point of freaking out, VRing (voluntary Release, you'll learn all about those) and going home on the 3 metre board at basic, but I still jumped.  Why?  Because I have no right to ask my troops to do something I won't.  And I'll tell you, after I did jump, all of my instructors said something positive, and my god, that's a feeling you can't match.  I did not have to jump, but I did.

You will be in a position one day where you have to order someone to do something they don't like.  How can you expect them to respect you for giving the order to do something that you wouldn't do yourself?  It will be tough.  Let your staff know of your fears, and they will, (believe it or not) help you through.  Trust me on this.  You'll want to cry and piss your pants, but absolutely nothing will beat that feeling of getting to the bottom of the tower by yourself the first time.  :)  Good luck.

T

Offline fear in combat is poison

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Re: Hieghts in Basic traning
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2006, 12:29:29 »
Thanks T and that makes sense.  If it makes any difference, I am shooting for NES OP, so hopefully I wont have to any repelling in a real life scenario, lol. 

Points of view from all are welcome.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2006, 21:51:52 by S McPhee »

Offline kincanucks

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Re: Hieghts in Basic traning
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2006, 13:06:21 »
Thanks T and that makes sense.  If it makes any different, I am shooting for NES OP, so hopefully I wont have to any repelling in a real life scenario, lol. 

Points of view from are are welcome.

Thank goodness for a second there I thought you would say that you are going Lineman.  Torlyn is correct you have to be able to push yourself beyond your fears or you will never make it in the CF.  Perhaps no rappelling in the navy but you could end up jumping off the side of the ship into the ocean and I will tell you, from personal experience, that is a freaking long way down.  Good Luck.
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Offline Torlyn

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Re: Hieghts in Basic traning
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2006, 13:34:59 »
:)  I'm praying I never do the live exercise oscar drill..  :)  As you are going Navy, think as well to the boarding parties...  They all have to be rapel tower qualified, for going up and down containers on ships.  It's not a requirement, but a lot of fun, so I hear.  :)

T

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Hieghts in Basic traning
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2006, 07:45:32 »
Torlyn makes excellent points.  FWIW, I'm a pilot and started out scared shiteless on the long rapell in Chilliwack over 20 years ago.  I told myself right then and there to suck it up, that properly executed, I was not going to die, etc...  I found from that day onward, though there still is a feeling in the pit of my stomach (or is that now an adreniline rush?) when I'm close to an unguarded edge, I know that keeping my head about me will keep me from doing a swan dive...  Furthermore, I found that challenging such a fear lead to my being able to do a whole bunch of things that I would not otherwise have considered doing: civy skydiving, climbinb, diving, etc...  Putting guys on a small building top at night on NVG while staring out a plexiglass bubble seems to be about as far removed from my initial feers rapelling at BOTC.

So, use this as an opportunity to challenge yourself personally...you won't regret the feeling of accomplishment and personal confidence you'll have at the end of it!

Cheers
Duey

Offline Nero

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Re: Hieghts in Basic traning
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2006, 00:56:04 »
Quote
- If a recruit has an EXTREME fear of heights, can he be excused from this small portion? (even if it means having to do something else that is harder on you)

Gee... Im sure there are plenty of people in the army with an extreme fear of getting killed. Can they be excused from fighting the enemy?

Offline RowdyBowdy

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Re: Heights in Basic traning
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2006, 15:19:20 »
I'm terrified of water, and I joined the Navy.  :) 

Unless you are a diver, if you are in the Navy and in the water, you are probably in deep trouble.  Army guys probably do more swimming than the Navy guys :)

I was terrified of the repelling, but I had a good instructor who could tell I was very nervous and said to just yell out the drills (ie HOLD THE ROPE!) and not think about it and just get it done.  It turned out to be the highlight of my basic.



Adherence to the Prescribed Procedures is MANDATORY.

Offline GO!!!

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Re: Hieghts in Basic traning
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2006, 22:50:57 »
Gee... Im sure there are plenty of people in the army with an extreme fear of getting killed. Can they be excused from fighting the enemy?

Nice!

Seriously though, if you can't overcome your fear of heights in basic, where you only have to rappel 4 times, jump off a 30 foot diving board and climb ropes to the ceiling of the field house, just get a nice safe job, like data entry clerk.

The name of the game is pushing yourself - so if you "just can't" just don't join.
No leader was ever hated for being too hard, but a great many were for attempting to appear that way.

Offline Glorified Ape

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2006, 07:39:55 »
I'm pretty phobic of heights as well but I managed the rappelling tower in Farnham - just trust in the experience of your DS and the rappel staff. You don't, from my experience, start off rappelling from the top platform, you start off on the "baby" platform (maybe  12-15 ft) and even that's only done after a long instruction and practice session. Just standing on the top platform scared the crap out of me, but you just have to buck up, beat it down, and get it done - by that point in your basic training, that will probably have already become a habit when encountering new situations that are uncomfortable/scary/stressful/etc.

Don't worry about it - once you get past the first go, it's much easier because your "fear cherry" has been broken. Also keep in mind the fact that you'll probably already have been through a few weeks of training and so your attitude towards "scary" things, your own limits, your ability to overcome doubts/fears/etc. will likely have changed substantially from what it is now. Don't cut yourself off from a good experience and future career because of something silly like a phobia, which will shrivel with time and training. To do otherwise would be seriously selling yourself short.

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Offline Nero

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2006, 14:46:12 »
Quote
I'm pretty phobic of heights as well but I managed the rappelling tower in Farnham - just trust in the experience of your DS and the rappel staff. You don't, from my experience, start off rappelling from the top platform, you start off on the "baby" platform (maybe  12-15 ft) and even that's only done after a long instruction and practice session.

Wow, really? I remember the first time I rapelled... it was right after I finished my BMQ. I went on adventure training with my unit... We rapelled off of a cliff that was actually pretty high. Made me pretty confident in my ability to tie swiss seats.

Offline Steve031

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2006, 15:07:01 »
Try a 200 foot rappel down an actual cliff, on a rope tied off to a couple trees with no brakeman at the botttom.  Now that's taking your life in your hands.  It's even better when you're going back up.  If you get a chance, take a mountain operations course.  Nothing teaches you to trust your equipment like hanging a couple hundred feet above the ground on the side of a cliff by an 8mm cord.

Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2006, 15:19:03 »
Maybe I've missed somthing, but I'm fairly certain there's no requirement to rappel as part of basic.

Consider a trip to the rappel tower, if you happen to do it as part of basic, a treat, and if you have a a fear of heights, consider it an opportunity to conquer this fear.
Remember troops, the minimum acceptable standard is still an acceptable standard.

Offline Nero

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2006, 18:05:23 »
Quote
Try a 200 foot rappel down an actual cliff, on a rope tied off to a couple trees with no brakeman at the botttom.

Thats basically my first rappel experience, except there was a brakeman at the bottom.

Offline GO!!!

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2006, 23:48:29 »
Maybe I've missed somthing, but I'm fairly certain there's no requirement to rappel as part of basic.

There is a requirment to rappel in Farnam - the short wall, high wall, and skid, sometimes with the sloped wall too.

There is also a fixed line traverse that starts about 30 feet off the ground, a requirment to jump off the high diving board into the pool (to simulate abandoning a ship) and ropes to climbed.

Either try to conquer your fear, or look elsewhere for a job.

I was afraid of heights when I joined the army too - but I fought that battle and won - thousands before you, thousands after - it's not like fearing heights is a new thing.

Good luck!
No leader was ever hated for being too hard, but a great many were for attempting to appear that way.

Offline beach_bum

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2006, 23:52:42 »
I think most people have a fear of heights.  Some more than others.  I know I do.  It's just mind over matter.  Overcoming your fear. 
Eddie would go!

Offline Chummy

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2006, 03:27:00 »
I learned the nature and extent of my fear of heights on course. If I'm attached to something, it's not bad, but hanging on with no harness of any kind is what scares me. The rappel wasn't so bad, because you're attached. I actually went back for seconds. The issue was the 20 foot cargo net. It wasn't bad crossing over the middle span of netting, because I could see that there was no way to fall through. Rather, it was climbing up and down, and a fear of my hands letting go. I took my time because the only way I could manage was to get my forearms through, so that more than my hand grip was holding me from tumbling backwards (and btw, I did more than fine on the grip test - it's in my head, and I deal with it).

The point is, like all the previous posts, the whole point of basic is to teach you mind over matter under carefully controlled high stress conditions. Everyone finds something they have to overcome. It is a great experience, and I wish you the best of luck. 

Offline fear in combat is poison

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2006, 11:04:36 »
Well.... I thank everyone for their feedback.  I know the Canadian Forces shouldn't have any room for whiners and I do respect the opinions of the "hard asses" out there who think that if is it that big of a deal, I just shouldn't join.  I have no intention of not trying everything that is thrown my way, I guess I was more wondering of what would happen if I climb half way up that tower and get all light headed and dizzy or something (which has happened before at high places). 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2006, 11:14:17 by S McPhee »

Offline Haggis

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2006, 12:16:15 »
I guess I was more wondering of what would happen if I climb half way up that tower and get all light headed and dizzy or something (which has happened before at high places). 

Nothing will happen, unless you let go.  ;D

Before basic, get with a buddy and start slow.  Climb little, safe things at first.  Go out on a balcony.  If that still wigs you out, try talking to a shrink.  You don't have to be crazy to see a shirnk.  In fact, most appreciate seeing people with "simple" problems from time to time.
Train like your life depends on it.  Some day, it may.

Offline Munner

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2006, 12:22:48 »
The military has a way of exploiting everyone's fears. For me it was claustrophobia. I knew I was claustrophobic before, but I didn't really imagine that it would be a problem on basic....that was until I had to throw on the restricting bunny suit and gas mask. The first time I was forced to put that gear on we were of course, running around and doing pushups. The tightness of the suit, and the lack of proper air that I was gettign forced me to have a little attack, in which I ripped off the maske even though we were a state of "gas gas gas" and also unzipped the bunny suit. lol I chose death over claustrophobia!

To overcome this I started to wear my bunny suit around my house. I was writing essays in my bunny suit, watching TV in it etc until I just became comfortable with it.

So basically, as recommended above just ry to overcome your fear. Practice  climbing abit, or somehow getting to a height that you are nervous at and hang out there a while.

I think everyone has at least a little fear of heights, some just have it worse then others!

Good luck and take care !
Fior Go Bas

Offline MountainRunner

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2006, 12:47:51 »
Hey McPhee.  I used to be very afraid of heights until I started climbing.  I understand your fear but there's no satisfaction like conquering a phobia.  In fact, rapelling in BT may be the biggest thrill of your life.  I love rapelling now - the longer, the better (though going up a ladder still makes me pause).

My advice:

Go to your local climbing gym and practice your rapelling indoors.  Take a course in rope handling and rapelling.....Break the ice BEFORE basic and you'll feel way more confident.

p.s. The worst moment is just stepping over the lip, after that it's a fun ride down!
"I can see you on the hill, comatose but walking still." - Neil Young

Offline fear in combat is poison

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2006, 15:13:54 »
Can anyone tell me how high the repelling tower is?  Other then the repelling tower, is the 20 foot cargo net the next highest obstacle to overcome?

MikeL

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2006, 15:25:43 »
I think they are usually around 32/34 feet. Don't worry about it too much, pretty much everyone is afraid of heights, an if you join the military, you gotta overcome some fears. I'm afraid of heights, after the first time, you get used to it an trust the equipment, etc an it starts to get fun. Highest rappel I've done in Army was in Chilliwack, 120ft around.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2006, 15:30:06 by MikeL »

Offline GO!!!

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2006, 23:15:28 »
To overcome this I started to wear my bunny suit around my house. I was writing essays in my bunny suit, watching TV in it etc until I just became comfortable with it.

 :o

Well, that is devotion!
No leader was ever hated for being too hard, but a great many were for attempting to appear that way.

Offline Nero

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Re: Heights in Basic traning (Fear of Heights)
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2006, 15:30:57 »
You get to take your bunny suit home??