“OK, Lourin, I’m going to need you to stand on the ledge now,” says the man clipping a rope to my body 200 some feet in the air.
“Uh . . . no thanks?” I say.
OVER THE EDGE
You think that raising the $1,000 is going to be the hurdle you have to overcome. But three years, three attempts to get back in the elevator and run for the hills, and three thousand dollars later, I’ve remembered it’s just that – going OVER. THE. EDGE. That is the tricky part.
Standing on the ledge of a building, I have to attempt to look somewhat cool, after all I am a news anchor who needs to impress her audience. If my viewers see me choke, what credibility do I have? Too bad “playing cool” was left on the ground floor and I’m on the 15th. Standing on the roof, I’m in a cold sweat. They tell me to raise my right hand, I raise my left. My heart’s about to rocket out of my chest. What’s my name again?
Then, I start the blame game. Who thought of this fundraiser anyway? Why would anyone want to throw themselves off a building?
Oh, wait, I do . . .
(Insert string of R-rated words.)
It doesn’t matter that I have done it twice before. I stood on the lip of the building for 20 minutes and wouldn’t let go. “She’s not going to do it,” one spectator said in the crowd waiting on me below. “She’s not coming down.”
Honestly, that man was probably right … Until my rappel coach (I love you James!) asked me WHY I was doing it.
Then my eyes teared up, this time not out of fear, but out of pride for the athletes that I had raised (and since we’re being honest … begged everyone I knew shamelessly) the money for.
This event wasn’t about me overcoming my fear … About a media story … Or even for bragging rights. I was doing it for my family here – for people like Tanner Hrenchir and Chris Ringot – the ones that make me laugh no matter how bad my day, and inspire me to push beyond my limits to do things (like dangling off a skyscraper) I never thought I could do.
So I count to three, and imagine their faces. And – I’m over.
Letting go is the hard part … then the fun begins.
Coasting to the ground, you can relish in your success and the strength the athletes have given you.
To me, that’s what Special Olympics Missouri is all about.
It’s the cheers and hugs you get at the bottom that keep you coming back for more. And I’m still riding that high.
I’ve already told SOMO I’m signing up next year. Right before I filed for insanity.
I suggest you try it. Over the Edge first, then the insanity.
Oh – and even though I told you the truth, my news audience may be thinking otherwise. So, lets keep this our little secret.