Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Over the Edge for Special Olympics

This past Saturday, I was able to experience a rush of a lifetime!  Three weeks prior to Saturday, I decided to try to raise $1,000 for Special Olympics so that I could rappel down the side of a 17-story building.  Thanks to the support and donations from friends and family, I was able to raise $1,625 for this wonderful organization!  Added Bonus: Rappelling.

Saturday was quite the rush, I must say. I was very nervous as I was eating my breakfast across the street from the building I would soon be rappelling down. I'm glad mom, dad and haley made sure I was always thinking about something else. And thanks Dad for telling the homeless man and other passersby all about how I was going to "jump off" that building in a few hours. haha. When I arrived, the Indy firefighters and rappelling crew first allowed us to rappel off a 3-story parking garage, so we would understand how to work the harness and what to do in case of an emergency. The whole process of staging and getting ready took longer than anticipated, so I had to wait an additional 1 1/2 hours after my original start time. My cheering section stood strong with necks cranked upwards, however, waiting for me to descend. They were great!

My cheering section taking photos

Barnes and Thornburg Building Downtown

When I arrived to the top of the 17-story building, my anticipation was mounting and I just wanted to go! The view was nothing but blue skies and a few other building that were taller than the one I was standing on. They told me there would be a photographer there to take our pictures as we went over, but he was nowhere in sight. I was a little disappointed, but then a staff member checking our names off took out his personal camera and took about 10 pictures of me up on the roof. I was humbled by his willingness to do this and make sure the pictures got to me. I can't wait to see them!

I don't really remember what those firefighters on top of the building were telling me as they were strapping me in. Maybe it was because I was standing a foot away from the edge with nothing but a carabineer attaching me to the roof?? Or maybe because my cheering section, who had seen my red shirt started cheering sooo loud and yelling my name. The firefighters said I had the loudest spectators by far!

So, they had me kneel down and scoot backwards until my feet were hanging over the edge of the building. "Ok Hannah, just fall backwards nice and easy," was all I heard. My heart was racing the entire time, even though I knew I was safe. They had me hooked up with a radio, safety harness, backup cable, and a little seatbelt-like thingy that would catch if you traveled down too fast.

Coming Over the Edge

The building had a 40 inch lip, so they encouraged us not to try and swing towards the building, but to just travel straight down and enjoy the ride. I was a little disappointed I couldn't push myself off the walls (I really wanted to look like one of those professionals, you know!), but it was probably good because, I was able to twist around and get a good view of everything, ground included. It took me about 10 minutes to get down to the ground...safe and sound.

I also put together a video from the day!  Click below.

Who's up for it next year?


  1. Cool - Good for you - for raising the money for a great cause and for trying something new!

  2. Wow that is great all that money and you are having fun


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