April 14, 2016

The only way out is down

I have either lost my mind, or my phobic fear of heights.

If you’re laying bets, I’ll give you a hint: it’s the former.

I have signed up to rappel from the roof of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver on July 8th. If you know me, you know that this isn’t actually my idea of fun. I have VERY few pictures of me in high places. I can offer you a photo of 18 year-old me, standing on the glass floor of Canada’s CN tower, looking terrified / mildly ill, and I have a smattering of photos from behind the windows of tall office towers in and around Vancouver.

In the case of the CN Tower, Kate basically forced me to be there (she will contest this, but it is true).

In the case of the office towers in Vancouver, it’s always been work-related. I wouldn't go to these places 'just because'.

A view from in flight. Planes are safe,
tall buildings are not. Makes sense, right? 
Man-made heights… I just… don’t… like them. The Lion’s Gate bridge in Vancouver terrifies me, though I have used that crossing enough to learn how to control myself. Don't ask me to explain any of it. I love flying, I love rollercoasters...but I hate chairlifts. It's a phobia. The whole point is that it's irrational. 

None the less, the phobia exists. So why… WHY… have I signed up to go OUTSIDE on the roof of a 36-storey building, and go OFF the side of it? Let me pause to wipe the sweat from my brow and check my pulse before I tell you.


I’m doing it for the kids, okay? My job at Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon is immensely satisfying. I love everything about it. And, in the course of my work, I have decided to prove my love and commitment by participating in our own fundraiser, the Rope for Hope rappel challenge in support of Make-A-Wish.

I was given various ‘outs’ by my colleagues.
“You know you don’t HAVE to do this, right?” 

Fears be damned. 

In the comparison to kids age 3-17 fighting life-threatening medical conditions, I have zero to be afraid of, nothing to fight against other than my own phobia, and a guaranteed result of arriving safely on sweet, sweet terra firma just a few minutes after I start my journey.

So I can do this. I will do this. I AM doing this.

Probably the ultimate kick in the pants here is that my mother-in-law—30 years my senior—is joining me for a rappel of her own, and is excited beyond belief. She would BASE jump this thing if they let her.  How is it gonna look if I can’t stack up against my own mother-in-law? Major pride on the line now.

Each rappeller is required to raise $1,500 for Make-A-Wish. The BRIGHT side is, if you DON’T get me to my goal, I won’t be able to rappel.  Oh darrrrrn, wouldn’t that be just terrible if I had to stay on the ground?! So maybe this is my way out! If I only raise, like $1499, I won’t be able to go!

SO whatever you do, DON’T get me to my goal! I won’t have to live my fear! Yay! However, if you’re just sadistic enough to want to see me tortured through 36 storeys of my own personal hell, by all means, click this link

As an added bonus to all you sickos donating to make me do this, I’ll see about wearing a GoPro or something, so that I can record every terrifying second, and I’ll cut a video to show you what it’s like when I wet myself 600 feet off the ground.

Thank you for spreading Hope, Strength and Joy… in the lives of children in BC and the Yukon living with life-threatening medical conditions, that is. For me, this is torture.  
If YOU think this sounds like fun and want to join in, there are still spaces available! Check out www.ropeforhope.ca to sign up.