It’s important to get a good night’s sleep, and for most people, that means cultivating the ideal sleeping conditions. But not for Thomas Brag and Ammar Kandil. While others might switch on a white noise machine or roll down their blackout blinds, Thomas and Ammar recently hit the hay in what many would consider pretty nightmare-inducing circumstances: in a hammock, suspended between two cliffs, with nothing below but a sheer drop.
Thomas and Ammar “seek discomfort” through their YouTube channel Yes Theory, which they created alongside Matt Dajer. And as Thomas explains in the video, he believes it’s important to continually push yourself out of your comfort zone. “Fear is a mental muscle that needs regular attention,” he says. “If you don’t actively seek to safely challenge it, it will eventually take control of your life. So today we’re going to the mental gym.”
Along with their friend and fellow adventurer Max Rantz-McDonald, Thomas and Ammar traveled to Utah to meet up with athlete and highlining expert Ryan Robinson, who helped them put up their hammock over the ravine. Usually, these hammock don’t get suspended more than 48 inches off the ground, to avoid serious injury should the occupant fall out.
Once the “most dangerous bed in the world” had been constructed (out of material so fine that Thomas compared it to a “mosquito net”), the three of them made their way across the highline to settle down for the night. However, they soon found themselves contending not just with vertigo from the sheer drop below them, but also high winds, thunder and rain.
Ultimately, after a few hours, it was all too much for Thomas. “I pushed myself as far as I could,” he says, before hightailing it back to solid ground in perhaps the most relatable move of all time.
“I’ve always been deadly afraid of heights,” Thomas tells Men’s Health. “I experience vertigo when I get close to the edge of cliffs so when Ammar brought up the idea of filming this episode I was petrified… At first, I wasn’t too nervous, but as soon as we arrived at the canyon I was terrified. Couldn’t even get near it. Throughout the whole experience, I was just trying to stay calm but the adrenaline was pumping so high the whole time that I eventually just got exhausted from all the tension.”
“Coming off the hammock in the middle of the night was both one of the scariest moments of my life as well as probably the most relieving ones,” he continues. “5-6 hours of non-stop tension finally relieved felt unbelievable. Overall I grew curious to pursue building my resistance towards heights and learning more about how to push and expand my limits.”