YMCA of Greater Erie

We are interrupting our regularly scheduled blog on Hot Yoga to deliver news on a super fun adventure we were able to partake in!

We were given the opportunity to rappel down the Renaissance Building as part of the Over the Edge charity event. All proceeds went to Gaundenzia, which is a Drug and Alcohol Prevention Provider in Erie.

Erica:

over the edgeWhen I heard about the rappel, I was on board immediately for 2 reasons.  First, I used to be a Drug and Alcohol Counselor for a number of years, and know about the great work Gaudenzia does, and secondly, I get to rappel down the side of a building!!!!  I immediately signed up and began working on Michelle, who was a little reluctant to say the least.  I never had anything but excitement throughout the whole experience and it was a fantastic time.  The only nerve racking moment for me was when I was suspended over the building and just sitting there waiting for Michelle to join me in our death defying journey down the building!  I feel like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m so thankful that I didn’t chicken out.  The view was phenomenal and my kids got to come watch me scale a building!  How many kids can say that?!

Michelle:

michelle picJust a warning to everyone reading this blog…be very careful what you put out in the universe…it may just come back to you in ways you don’t expect and don’t want.  I had no idea that when I said I wanted to try new, challenging things this year I would be asked to rappel down a building.  Let me just say that one of my biggest fears is heights (maybe because the potential of falling to my death is really scary), so when Erica told me we had the opportunity to rappel down the tallest building in town I thought there is no way on earth I have any interest in doing this.  But as is Erica’s nature when she gets an idea in her head, she kept working on me until I reluctantly agreed (maybe to bring awareness to a great cause and maybe to get her off my back??).  I had one week’s notice to get ready to face one of the things I fear the most.  Erica kept telling me how proud I would be of myself by overcoming this fear and l tried to believe her.  Leading up to rappel day I was terrified.  Once I was briefed on the safety equipment and given the chance to practice, my fear quieted down a little.  After I was hooked up to the rappelling rope and hanging over that building, my fear went away and I embraced the challenge.  It was by far one of the most amazing, freeing and exciting experiences of my life!  I am so relieved that I let crazy Erica talk me into this.  There are two things I learned from this experience:  we build fears up in our heads to be monsters that seem impossible to overcome, but in reality, they are not as big and scary as we build them up to be. We can overcome amazing things if we don’t give a voice to our fears and face them head on; facing and overcoming a fear is the most liberating experience.  Walking down the side of that building I felt so proud of myself in a way I never really have before.  And I am so grateful to Erica for talking me into doing such a crazy challenge and for all of her support leading up to and during the rappel.  Face your fears…you will come out on the other end a better person.