Going Over The Edge For Special Olympics Iowa

Once again this year my cluster of radio stations supported Special Olympics Iowa’s Over The Edge fundraiser!

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ve probably seen the post about my experience last year.  If not, you’ll find it here.  I’d suggest reading that first to an idea of what happens at the event.

Going Over The Edge For Special Olympics Iowa

Last year I went all out to document the adventure of rappelling 345 feet off the Financial Center in downtown Des Moines.

I borrowed a GoPro camera for video footage.  I took a lot of my own pictures (both before and after) and had family and friends on the ground taking pictures too.

I was happy to have the video and pictures… but this year I wanted to go low key.  I didn’t want to get caught up taking pictures or worrying if my family would get there in time.  I just wanted to soak in the experience.

And what an experience it was! The view from on top of the Financial Center is amazing.  You can see for miles and miles. It’s really cool seeing a bird’s eye view of downtown.

It was windy up there too.  One of the crew had a handheld anemometer to gauge windspeed. It showed gusts as high as 34 miles per hour.  There was one gust that came after testing that he guessed to be at least 40 mph. (I can’t even imagine what it would be like to feel hurricane winds.)

The wind made me a little nervous but the onsite supervisor assured our group that it wouldn’t be a problem.  The wind was out of the South and we were going down on the North side of the building.

He was right.  Once I was actually “over the edge” the wind wasn’t really that noticeable.  There were a few times past the halfway point that I felt some wind and it had me twisting sideways.  I followed the instructions we got at the top and righted myself.

Hearing cheers from the crowd at the bottom motivated me to keep going.  Getting a thumbs up from the check-in workers on the 13th floor was fun.  I also got a few weird looks from people who were trying to do work inside the building I was rappelling off of.

Reaching the bottom was one of my favorite parts for two reasons. It meant I successfully made it.  The other reason… being greeted by two Special Olympics Iowa athletes.  They gave me some flowers and we had our picture taken.

Tony Conrad Over The Edge For Special Olympics

Seeing their smiling faces and exchanging high 5’s is a memory I’ll never forget!

To me this experience was all about trust:

Trusting the equipment

Trusting the instruction

Trusting myself

Trusting God

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Special Olympics Iowa is a fantastic organization and this is a great event.  I highly recommend it to everyone looking for a challenge.

Start now and raise the money to do it next year.  Even if you’re a little bit nervous about heights… do it.  The crew, equipment, and training are top notch.  The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel at the bottom is unmatched.

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Here’s the video from last year.  It was pretty much the same view this year but they’ve got the old Younkers location cleaned up and the street opened.

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