Willis Tower in Chicago~ Going out on a Ledge

Would you be willing to step out on a ledge at the top of this??

It wasn’t as easy as I’d thought.


One thing I strive for in life is to get out of my comfort zone and stretch myself regularly. Our year of travel is, in itself, a big stretch but even within that we’ve built routines and created habits that become familiar and lull me back into comfortable complacency. So when an opportunity arises to get uncomfortable, experience new things, and ultimately grow as a human being I usually go for it. While In Chicago, I had a chance to do just that.
IMG_1214 2We got passes to theSkydeck atop the Willis Tower, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. We joined the 1.5 million annual visitors, and rode the one-minute, 20 mph elevator to the 103rd floor observation deck. It was spectacular being able to gaze out of floor length windows in every direction, and see far into the distance, where a view of the surrounding four states is possible on a clear day. However, the real thrill was the chance to step out on The Ledge.


One wall of the Skydeck consists of 4 special glass balconies that were constructed in 2009, and they protrude over four feet out over the city. Stepping inside puts you 1350 feet above ground, and gives you a unique view of Chicago below and all around you.


While waiting in line for my turn, I watched others walk out and I believed this would be an easy feat. However, when I got my chance to step out onto the glass floor, all kinds of buttons were being triggered inside of me.  Fear, lack of trust, and a shot of vertigo coursed through my veins as my mind tried to make sense of my surroundings. My brain was having a hard time computing what it was seeing, the ant-like cars below, the low hanging clouds hovering above me, and the vast water and endless urban sprawl before me. It was dizzying.

As I looked across to the person in the glass balcony beside me, I remember thinking how fragile they looked, encased in a clear cocoon, attached to an enormous metal tree.   The power and vulnerability of humanity were perfectly blended in that brief moment.


It took a few moments to get my sea legs back after coming in from the ledge. I’m not sure if my mind will ever recover, or if that moment will be indelibly imprinted on it. I’m hoping for the latter

What I do know is that once again, when faced with fear and discomfort, I forged ahead and didn’t let it stop me. And that my friends, is why getting out of my comfort zone is so rewarding.

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What do you think? Is getting out of your comfort zone easy or hard? What ways are you stretching your comfort level and growing yourself? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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