Why On Earth Did I Rappel Down 29 Stories?
I'm feeling pretty good about something I just did and wanted to share it with you. I went to the roof of a high rise building in Philly and rappelled down 29 stories. I was one of about 100 people who took part in the "Building Adventure" to benefit Outward Bound. That's the program that gives students educational adventure experiences where they develop confidence and leadership skills, and learn about nature and teamwork. One of their big mottos is "when you push yourself outside your comfort zone, that's where you grow."
I figured this rappelling adventure would offer some personal growth for me as I went 300 feet above my comfort zone. And I thought it would be a memorable way to mark my 50 years on the planet. I didn't really have a fear of falling. (The whole event is really well organized by folks who make safety the #1 priority.) The toughest part for me was how hard it was physically. My abs were screaming soon after I started so it was a long 17 minutes down. Though I was uncomfortable and fatigued, I pushed through, just like they teach at Outward Bound, and I felt great at the end knowing that I had accomplished what I set out to do.
A few random observations:
To calm my nerves before the descent, I stood in a power pose, like Wonder Woman. I think it helped! Although, I really was acting more like SpiderMan that day, wasn't it?
High Fives are awesome! It's like an instant reward for a job well-done.
Encouraging words make a world of difference. I got a much-needed boost of energy when I reached the window of an office worker who had taped two signs to her window. One said "Rock On" and the other said "I'd rather be doing what you're doing." That made me smile the rest of the way down.
My friends and family cheering me on from the ground gave me another burst of motivation. Hearing their excitement and encouragement helped take my mind off the tough stuff.
I talked to a lot of people who climbed down the ropes that day. Some of them signed up because they have a fear of heights! Isn't that admirable? I gave them a high-five! They went out of their comfort zones and proved they could do it.
Care to share a story about how YOU conquered a fear or took on a challenge outside of your comfort zone? You might inspire others!