A Mind Changing Event


When the Oregon Health and Sciences University Tram was being built I vowed never to ride the thing! Somehow dangling in a gondola from a string suspended over several freeways, homes, and lots of height did not appeal to me! For ten months I managed to avoid using the Tram, even though I work at OHSU and I can ride it for free.

My excuse was I did not know where the Tram would drop me off once I reached the top of the Hill, and how I would find my way to my office. This was a poor reasob for me to give, because anyone who knows me knows that one of my talents is figuring out where I am, and how to get from one point to another. I just have this radar in me that most of the time tells me where I am.  I love to astound people by helping them to find some place when they are lost!

I was given a work assignment to test a new communication device. It has a sensor that switches the vocabulary on the device whenever the device goes through an entrance of selected establishments. The device will automatically bring up a menu, or other vocabulary someone might use to speed up communications. While I was testing the prototype on unsuspecting vendors around the campus of OHSU, I discovered where the Tram platform is located.

After that, I knew I had to at least try riding the Tram once. Finally, I had Tri-Met Lift drop me off at the new clinic building that is next to the Tram at the bottom of the hill, and took the gondola up! It was absolutely too easy to board, ride and disembark from the Tram. The conductor will tell riders when to expect the gondola to sway. At times like those, I am grateful for my power chair! I soared triumphantly off of the Tram that day knowing I had overcome a roadblock!

Riding the Tram has some added bonuses.  I am doing my part by saving fuel. The Tram saves my body from the added stress of going around those Twilliger curves on a bus!  Sometimes the way drivers zoom around the curves, I feel as if I just raced in a marathon!  Who wants to work right after finishing an endurance race?   I also enjoy making my way thrugh the halls and buildings across the OHSU campus to reach my office.

Now I always make the Tram apart of my commute  to work.  However, I never thought to consider how my personal assistants might feel about riding the gondola.   Some people are just naturally petrified of heights, and several personal assistants have refused to help me at work, because theres no way they could ride the Tram.    Of course, I try not to make my personal assistants do something that is genuinely fearful for them.

 Except  for Anne!  She told me she was afraid of heights, however, she was willing to accompany me work one day.  She held on to my power chair for dear life, while I talked to her,  and reminded her to breathe from time to time!  Anne’s courage impressed me!   

Sometimes we put off doing activities that we perceive as too frightening or not all that beneficial to us. If you are postponing some adventurous event that you find daunting, pray about it.  Perhaps ask a friend to go with you; make a fun day out of it. You will be amazed by how much strength you have once you make your mind up to do the thing you thought you would never try!   

Posted at 2:01 PM by useuraac@yahoo.com

3 Responses

  1. Hey Jan! I had a hard time getting on the tram the first time, too. Now I love it because it means I can ride my bike to work and park down at the waterfront. I ride the tram up to work instead of riding up that long hill. I don’t think I could do it if I tried! Plus, I really like hearing the excitement of the little kids to ride it. They love to point out trucks, trees and the river.

    Amy Cline at 7/18/2008 3:06 PM

  2. Thank you for being the first to post a comment on my blog. I had gotten so used to there not being any comments, because I’m still testing out the waters and building up a library of posts, that I am afraid I failed to notice your comment for several weeks. I am sorry about that! When I finally saw I had a comment, I had to take a triple look to make sure I was actually seeing 1 comment on the screen! You have no idea how thrilled I was to see your comment!

    I know exactly what you mean by hearing the excitement of the children! One of the last times I rode the Tram, a little girl was on the Tram. She said with total awe in her voice, Look Mom, we are higher then the trees! I smile every time I hear that child’s voice in my memory!

    useuraac@yahoo.com at 8/13/2008 9:57 AM

  3. I too got to ride the Tram with you up and back. At that time you were staying in the middle pretty much to avoid too much HIGH visual stimuli…are you going closer to the windows now?? 🙂 -K-

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