You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Virginia Special Olympics’ tag.

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 RichmondMom.com 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

Advertisements

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.

While chatting with my friends at Webbones yesterday, Stephanie made an off-hand comment about Oct. 23rd being the drop-dead date for a project of mine. Ha Ha. Funny she should put it that way. It is true that Oct. 23rd at noon is my first book-signing/meet the author event at Fountain Bookstore and afterwards I’ll be leading the inaugural (and FREE!) Real Richmond  food tour through the highs and lows of Richmond history in Shockoe Slip, Shockoe Bottom, and the edge of Church Hill, but where’s the near-death experience in that?

Oct. 22nd is more likely my drop-dead date since that’s when, at 3 p.m., to be exact, I’m scheduled to go Over the Edge and rappel from the top of the almost 400 ft tall SunTrust building for Richmond Magazine as part of a Virginia Special Olympics extreme fundraiser. I had several good looks at the building while I lounged on various hills during the Folk Festival, and it doesn’t look so tall from that distance. Up close is another story. 

The top is there somewhere

Of course, it is the second tallest building in Richmond, but I think it’s better if I shrink it down to something more manageable. No biggie, so to speak.

So why worry about what I’m supposed to do Oct. 23rd, when it could all be a moot (and messy) point.  I would be sad to miss InLight the night of Oct. 22nd though.

You probably already know this, but it’s not a good idea to start a new business, sell your mother’s house, do some writing, get involved with a new 501c3, go on vacation, push your new book, dabble in social media, and get the floors refinished in one’s home office at the same time. It might push someone over the edge.

Actually, it has. Virginia Special Olympics has this crazy, fun fundraiser, Over the Edge , October 23rd in downtown Richmond where people who raise $1000 for Virginia Special Olympics get to rappel 400 feet down the SunTrust building.  They are so lucky! And so am I. I’ll be freelancing for Richmond Magazine–doing blog posts and such as we get closer to the event. Then, on October 22, I get to rappel down the building–26 stories and then some. Can’t wait!

It’s impossible to watch the video of folks, especially an amazing Special Olympian, go over the edge last year and not be in awe.  Having no fear is unrealistic. Letting fear stop people of all abilities from finding out what they’re capable of– that’s the thing to be afraid of. Thanks, FDR.

I’ve rappelled a few times before–though 90 feet is as high as I’ve started. On the one hand those experiences make me feel confident. On the other, let’s remember how I looked earlier this year atop Monumental Church.

There will be ropes and harnesses several hundred feet higher, right?

 It’s quite possible that social media will be my downfall, one way or the other; I learned about Over the Edge on Twitter.

RealRichmond Tweets!

Archives

Categories

Advertisements