It wasn’t until I had to put my trust in the ropes and the rigging that the fear really hit me.
For the months leading up to Saturday’s Rope-For-Hope rappel down the Stantec Building for Make-A-Wish Foundation, I had little, if any fear about it.
I slept fine the night before. Getting into the gear that would be the only thing keeping me alive didn’t shake me. When people would ask me about it, I’d say I was excited.
But at the moment when I had to transfer my weight from my feet and the top of the Stantec Building and just lean back and have faith the ropes would support me, that’s when I was nervous.
Beside me, Wanda Marke was also being strapped in and something happened that caused her to fall for a split second near the top.
That’s when rappelling down 13-storeys became scary.
And it was all over in five minutes.
Flashback a few months ago, I was sitting at my desk a the Red Deer Advocate on what seemed to be a pretty normal day. I got a phone call from Jen Garden, Make-A-Wish Foundation Northern Alberta chapter development and events co-ordinator.
I don’t remember what exactly she said, but she asked if I wanted to fall down a building.
It didn’t take long for me to agree. And seeing it was for a good cause, helping kids with life-threatening medical conditions have a day where they can forget all about that condition and just be a kid, it was a no-brainer to me.
I met with Garden for a short coffee, and it only made me more excited. I spent the months leading up to it excited and made an effort to fundraise along the way.
But then I was at a moment when I had to trust something that wasn’t the solid ground, but ropes that dangled above me. I eased the lever back and slowly began my descent.
After that flash of fear, it became enjoyable. I looked down at the crowd and it was exhilarating. I saw my wife and our year-and-a-half daughter looking up and it was a great feeling.
But like I said, it took five minutes to get down.
So while it was all exhilarating, it was over really fast.
Afterwards Marke said to me “I want to do it again.”
She agreed just getting off the ledge was the scary part, but after that “I thought it was awesome.”
Money raised from the event goes directly to granting children’s wishes. For more information visit: www.makeawishna.ca.