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Who needs words when Jamie Betts’ photos from Virginia Special Olympics’ Over the Edge extreme fundraiser are here?! My second time rappelling down a 24-28-storey building, depending how  you count, just about 400 feet high, was more eventful than last year’s trip because the wind was gusting 20-30 miles an hour.

Nutzy, Kate Hall and I

Nutzy isn’t the only one who is nuts, but once you’re up on the top of the SunTrust Building in Shockoe Slip, the view is so spectacular, it’s easy to forget why you’re there.  Ostensibly it’s to raise funds and awareness of Special Olympics Virginia and the good work they do year-round. I’m all for that, but let’s face it–there are some of us who like doing  something that most people wouldn’t consider doing. As we were waiting our turns, Kate Hall, of asked if we could look over the edge before we rappelled. We were of course, tethered in, but kneeling near the lip of the building and looking down was the only thing that made my innards get all wobbly. There was no ground in sight. Even Paul Woody, who went ahead of me and who wasn’t that far gone, was out of sight. I backed away right quickly. Once it was time to do the deed, I was nervous only about making a better start than I had the year before when my quads froze and I had to sit  on my rear to push off from the building. Not my finest momemt, but there was no photographer to witness it, so why am I telling you now?

All went well this time around, and I even have the photo to prove it.

Hanging out in Richmond

Friday at 3 I’ll be up on the roof of the SunTrust building in downtown Richmond, going over the edge for Special Olympics Virginia for good ole Richmond Magazine. It was my idea, sort of, except for the Special Olympics folks coming up with the extreme fundraiser concept and getting the SunTrust building and organizing and coordinating with expert riggers (one can only hope) and inexpert rappellers so we all work together to support Special Olympics athletes. It’s  a good thing it’s a good cause cause otherwise I’m not sure I would get my feet off the ground.

I'm getting dizzy and I'm still on solid ground

Watching the first season of MadMen, with Don Draper tumbling down the side of a skyscraper in the intro, was not necessarily the best training technique for rappeling 400 feet. I’m actually not so worried about the 400 feet, it’s my two feet that will likely be the problem. Making them move in concert with my hands, to be exact. I will not be chewing gum at the same time. As long as I land on my feet…and wear better socks, I’ll be ok.

I’m back!