Today (June 29th) was the day for the Cascade Pacific Council’s OVER THE EDGE Event. At my count via an Excel spreadsheet, there were 50 Edgers that went over. The total amount raised is about $120,000. I had 42 people who donated in my name to help make this happen. You would have not gotten me to the EDGE, and I am very thankful.
When I started this journey, I thought, hey this will be fun and cool. I told my wife that I signed-up. She was not happy about the tower was 536ft tall. She was worried about me falling and getting hurt or dead. She, however supported me. I am thankful for that, even more.
I spent about 90 days asking people for donations and talking this up and telling myself it would be fun. I kept telling myself, that there are professionals that will be there and all is very safe. It’s the Boy Scouts. Sweet 16.
As I got on site and checked in, started to see a lot of people who I knew from Wood Badge and so many other Scouting Events, it started to sink in. It was going to happen. I realized that I was GOING OVER THE EDGE. Found Jerry, found my Patrol Mate from the 2009 course, he was my guide up to the roof and started getting suited up. Checked my gear, put on the Helmet Cam and took photos. I even got my photo a couple of times with a member with Patrol Z.
A common phrase was “Falling with Style” was repeated several times along with many other jokes. I made a lot of them.
The Roof-top Training was good. familiarized myself with how to rappel, land, ropes, gear and all things going down. More photos and jokes. We watched the Chief Scout Exec Matt Devore and his buddy go over. Wonderful…it’s really happening.
I looked over the edge a few times, cracked a few more jokes and knew that I was next.
Then, it was my turn. Now, I have to say that I got fellow Beaver, Troop Guide Shack Resident, Scoutmaster Jerry to be on Rope 1 as I was on Rope 2 at the same time. I figured, it would be a lot of fun to do this with a friend.
As I got up to the rope, turned on the helmet cam and started following my wonderful Rope People, fear set in. I knew that I was safe. I knew that I had to just lean back and sit. I did not look down. The Rope Lady (didn’t catch her name) was there. I looked a few times at Jerry and at the rope and at Rope Lady. My life did not flash before my eyes. I had it in my mind that I COULD NOT DO THIS. FEAR. I COULD NOT WALK BACKWARDS. I only needed 3 feet and I was on my way.
I thought of the 42 people who put me ON THE EDGE, NOT OVER. I thought of Cubscouts in Pack 221, My Wife, That Lady from Wapiti District, the W1-402-11 SPL and her total fear of heights and how she did it already….
Then there was Jerry. Jerry was over there first giving me words of encouragement. I was that Tiger or Tenderfoot Scout. Totally unsure of myself. I had no desire to do what I signed up to do. I could care less about getting to the bottom via Rope. I called it off. Waved everyone off. Rope Lady told me to focus and that it’s OK. Jerry started nagging at me. Pushing me to go and that I was holding him up.
I sat back and everyone started to whoop and hollar….Rope Lady and Jerry yelling more words of encouragement that I just don’t remember. (I have video, and it will come out soon. Just have to edit out the boring parts.)
There are times in someone’s life that words of encouragement take many forms to get someone over the edge and face a fear. 42 people got me TO the edge. Rope Lady and Jerry PUSHED ME OVER. While I knew that I would let many people down including myself, these two PUSHED ME. They believed in me and knew that I could do it.
They helped me face this fear and push me through it. It was and is very real to me. It is a fear that I had to deal with, I could not just step aside. As I went down the side of the building, I realized several things that occurred…
Helpful, Compassion, Courage and Perseverance…..Yes, a Cubmaster Minute/Pack Meeting was taking place. I don’t have the answer yet. But, I was shown all of these and used these to get through my fear and conquer it.
The biggest one is: Perseverance: Sticking with something and not giving up, even if it is difficult. I did not intend for the OVER THE EDGE to teach me about Perseverance. I was here to have a good time. But I got a life lesson.
I now have a fresher and better understanding of what real fear is and overcoming it and how it feels to do all of it. I also know how it felt to get that encouragement and that encouragement really is meant for me and given out of being Helpful & Compassion.
So, thank you Rope Lady. Thank you Jerry. Thank you for being there and helping be OVER THE EDGE. I will use this experience not with just the Scouts, but with those I meet along the journey. I literally could not have done it without you. This was not just crossing off a to-do item on a bucket list, this was a life changing event that made me realize that I can do something when faced with utter fear.
I did promise my Mom that I would NEVER do this again. She was incredibly worried. So, while I won’t go over, I will volunteer to be on site for 2013. My Mom asked me not to do it again. She did give to Over The Edge.
Thank you. Over the Edge was and is very fun. I am very glad I took part in it. I will be back in 2013 to help. Scouting, in any form is good. The Youth within the Cascade Pacific Council will be better for it. I am.