My friends all thought I was crazy. “Climbers fall you know. Splat — on the pavement. That could be you,” I was warned. After all, I’m not a so young any more and I had never rappelled off a skyscraper. Nor had I ever done a “free” rappel — you have no contact with the building — you just dangle and control your speed, hopefully.
My mantra was: “this will be safe and a blast” and worthwhile to raise awareness and scholarship funds for Outward Bound California. I wanted to experience for myself how Outward Bound uses challenge to teach young people bravery, self-assurance and fearlessness.
Watch me rappel and land on my YouTube channel, here.
How did it feel going over the edge and “free” rappelling down 23 stories? Butterflies fluttered in my stomach as I took the elevator to the top floor of the Hyatt Regency, San Francisco and walked out on the roof. After I did a 6″ practice rappel from a swing-like structure on the flat roof, I felt more trusting of myself , my capability, and my mental fortitude. I made the butterflies fly in formation.
Ten minutes later, feet flat on the ground again, an adrenaline rush made me giddy. It has lasted all week. The feeling that I can still “do great things, and push myself farther than I ever imagined” will last even longer.
Dropping over the edge of a skyscraper and descending 230′ down, helped me put into perspective some of the petty worries, and problems of every day life.
I was reminded how important it is to get out of our comfortable boxes. To travel, try new things and move outside our comfort levels. For me, that is living intensely.
It was, quite simply, a BLAST.
Thanks Outward Bound for giving students a similar opportunity to learn self-confidence, resilience, mental control and trust in themselves.
Outward Bound offers a life-changing experience for many students. They range from 14-day backpacking programs in the Blue Ridge Mountains to outdoor programs on Hurricane Island, Maine, Chesapeake Bay, Philadelphia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Patagonia. Learning opportunities include; wilderness courses, Gap Year and semester programs in the USA and 30 countries worldwide.
This was the first annual Outward Bound California City Skyline Challenge fundraiser. It brought the thrills of mountaineering and the power of experiential learning to the Bay and gave corporate teams, businesses and individuals a chance to go over the edge of one of the tallest buildings on the San Francisco Skyline.The event was a huge success, raising more than $250,000 for scholarships.