Team WHOOSH at the Easter Seals Drop Zone 2011

I had the great pleasure of participating in the Easter Seals Drop Zone 2011 fundraising campaign with friends, Sheilagh O’Leary and Danielle Irvine (a.k.a. Xena and the Casting Fairy). When I first signed on, I decided to see how many folks would join me in rapelling off a building for a good cause. Sheilagh and Danielle were brave enough to accept the invitation to do both the fundraising and the rapelling. We called ourselves Team WHOOSH…which at some point had an acronym…that started with women and ended with super heros but I have no idea anymore what went in the middle. I started as the Blue-Helmeted Super Hero moved through Captain Penguin to finally with two minutes to go opting for “Captain Fluffy Chicken.” (as it has been a very cold summer).

For me, the rapell off Atlantic Place’s nine stories, was the easy part. I quaked in my big mountain boots about the fundraising part. We each had to raise at least $1000 to participate and I fell short of my goal of $1500. Fundraising pushes me like almost no other activity and I’m frankly not very good at it…I’m not very good at asking for help for me or for others but I keep picking away at it…for Danielle and Sheilagh however, the rapell held even bigger challenges than the fundraising and I am so proud of both of them for walking/dropping through their fear. We met several times in the lead up to the event and each time, the full spectrum of fear, terror, and overwhelm appeared on their faces as we broached the subject of the rapell. I talked them through with a combination of technical information and stories (the set-up on Atlantic Place was likely the safest I have rapelled on-with so many safety redundancies that only the building falling down could have led to disaster).

I love this picture of Danielle with her wings flying out behind her. It truly was a leap of faith for her to go over the side of the building. I loved that she went first having not seen anyone else go! I’m sure she stopped and made a few Republic of Doyle casting calls along the way down and I know Jake Doyle is envious!

I love this picture of Sheilagh as it speaks so loudly of her accomplishment in walking through fear. I know she pushes herself on so many occasions to rise above fear and here she dropped right through it. It was such a delight to share the time and preparations with Team WHOOSH!

I love this picture of me rapelling off-I see a relaxed body posture that reminds me of my mountain competence and I like seeing me in my big fluffy down suit (and I love the absurdity of wearing it on the first lovely summer day in weeks). On my last climb of Everest, I found the suit very confining and claustrophobic so it was a victory for me to get back on/in the horse with it. It was as my role as “community mountaineer” that also drew me to put the suit on…and I did love the contrast between Sheilagh’s Xena (warm weather) costume and my Fluffy Chicken (cold weather) costume.

And I love this photo the most…the team, reunited at the bottom, aglow in celebration of both individual and collective success in facing fear, supporting each other, and raising funds to help Easter Seals continue to do excellent work with kids of all abilities. There will be an Easter Seals drop zone in 2012 and I hope you will all consider participating-it’s a riot and the world needs all the super heros it can get. Thanks Team Whoosh for sharing a great time for a great cause! (and for Marian for the great photos of the event).

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