I only got a little nervous when the man strapped into a harness told me he loves pushing people over the edge of tall buildings.
As we were walking down the green-carpeted hallway on the 16th floor of Leadership Square, I realized I was at a point of no return.
There was a photographer there to document my expected triumph of the downtown Oklahoma City building, and I wasn’t going to go down as a coward. Plus, the instructor said I wasn’t allowed to run while in my rappelling harness.
But as I walked out on the balcony, I got a sudden boost of confidence. I took in the view of downtown Oklahoma City and decided there was only one way I wanted to get down from there, and it was over the side of that building.
Gimme Storm Shelter
The Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma are raising money to build a storm shelter at their camp near Marlow, and a number of people who helped raise money will get the opportunity to rappel down the side of Leadership Square on Saturday.
So far, the Girl Scouts have raised about $70,000 toward the storm shelter.
The above-ground shelter is going to cost about $265,000 and will be FEMA EF5 rated.
It will fit about 300 people and will double as a classroom and activity space, said Shannon Evers, Girl Scouts of Oklahoma CEO.
“It will be a great space for the girls to go and get out of bad weather year-round,” Evers said.
To help raise the money, the Girl Scouts partnered with Over the Edge, a company that puts on rappelling events for non-profit organizations.
Anyone who managed to raise $1,000 or more will get the opportunity to rappel down the side of Leadership Square on Saturday, under the supervision of Over the Edge employees and Girl Scout volunteers.
In addition to the rappelling, the event will have a kids carnival with bounce houses and other fun activities.
They will take donations Saturday, and people who attend also will be able to sign up to volunteer for Girl Scouts.
“We need the donations, but we also really need volunteers,” Evers said. “People usually think of troop leaders when they think about the Girl Scout volunteers, but there are so many more things people can do with the organization.”
Falling down the side of a building takes more effort than I expected. But the view is unbeatable.
As I planted my heels on the side of the building with nothing under me but 225 feet of air, my heart started thumping and my adrenaline spiked.
I felt like Spider-Man, though I probably looked more like a sack of potatoes hanging from a rope.
I’m sure there are plenty of Girl Scouts who could complete the task with more skill and grace than I.
And as I lowered myself, my muscles began to ache as I came closer and closer to the ground.
Rappelling down at a pace that is less than terrifying was more difficult than I thought.
But when I got about halfway down, I realized I probably would make it back home in one piece.
I stopped to take in the view and caught a glimpse of Oklahoma City not many get to see — one I won’t likely forget.
I wished for a moment I could stay and relax.
Then I remembered the only thing between me and pavement was a whole lot of nothing.
I slid down to the ground and exhaled for maybe the first time in a couple of minutes when my feet hit the ground.
It was a great experience, something I definitely would do again.
Good luck to all the folks planning to go Saturday. Don’t worry, they won’t really push you over the edge.