Saturday morning was one of the scariest days of my long life. I’m really not a daredevil of any sort. But I have tried a few things that are out of my comfort zone from time to time. I’m by no means a good swimmer but I have snorkeled. I have ridden 4 wheelers in the jungles of Mexico. And I have done zip lining in Costa Rica. About a year ago, my girlfriend even talked me into scuba diving.
This past Saturday, I tried something else. Rappelling down a 15-story building. It was all for Special Olympics. I arrived and I looked up the building and I saw the ropes dangling from the top. That’s when I got my first butterflies in my stomach. Then, I got fitted with the harness. That was the second dose of butterflies. Then after a quick training session, it was time. They fastened me with the ropes and safety rope. I sat on the ledge of the roof of the 15-story building. So, I’m guessing I was 150’-160’ in the air with my huge butt hanging over. I’m wearing a helmet. Not that it would save me if something tragic happened. But at least my brain matter wouldn’t splatter all over the parking lot of the bank building. That wouldn’t be cool for random people trying to get to the ATM. Any way, it was time.
The crew told me to stand up and I did. I was holding on to these two poles that were somehow fastened to the building. Those two poles represented LIFE! They told me to let go and push back with my feet. I stared at that for a good 30 seconds and I calmly said…”you want me to do what? Let go of the pole?” Well, that was the only way for this journey to begin. After what seemed like an hour, I let go. My body didn’t “kick out” like it was supposed to. I really was dangling. My body was more or less limp. I knew they had me but at the same time, I didn’t know. My body just was clinging to the side of the building. It was scary. Finally, I seemed to straighten out… Well, kind of. I cannot express the fear that I was feeling but I slowly began my descent. My heart was beating so fast and I slowly started hearing the crowd below. And finally. The ground. I really don’t have a problem with heights… as long as I’m on the ground looking up. But I guess I did feel like I accomplished something and conquered a fear.