Monday, July 11, 2011

Super P's Rappel Against Cancer

Do not fear risk. All exploration, all growth is calculated. Without challenge people cannot reach their higher selves. Only if we are willing to walk over the edge can we become winners. ~ Unknown

On July 8, 2011, I rappelled a 31 story building in Denver, Colorado for the "Denver Over the Edge" ( to benefit the Colorado Cancer League ( What an amazing experience and a good reminder that risk is worth it!

I have a lot of fears in life. We all do! But let's face it the only way to get past our fears is to push through them. When we let our fears stop us, our worlds become smaller and smaller. I read a book called, "When Everything Changes, Change Everything," a while back that talked about the mechanism of the brain as it relates to this. When we have negative experiences or have been scared in our lives, our brain records this and for every new experience it then tries to relate to the database from our earlier life experiences. If we have a lot of negative experiences and fear, our mind reflects back on these experiences and associates any new even slightly similar experience to the old experience and tries to keep us safe and so we become more and more "safe" yet more fearful in life as we grow older.

To overcome this and keep our brains from "keeping us safe," yet limiting our future life experience is to break through our fears, and hence expand our bubble, not have it increasingly shrink over the course of our lifetime. Two ways can reverse this: one is to meditate which rewires pathways in the brain and the other is to not allowour fears to stop us, but rather to do things that expand our experience and replace old negative and fearful beliefs with new positive experiences.

My Rappel Against Cancer is an example of this. At a time in my life, when I have been out in front of investors and others, pitching my business and promoting something that I firmly and passionately believe can revolutionize business, social media, the internet, marketing and giving, was the perfect time to do this! Getting out and taking on a physical challenge to rewire my brain and institute some new muscle memory into my body to overcome some of my fears of heights, letting go and beliefs that "I can't do it," helped me to remember YES I CAN do it and any other challenge I put in front of myself.

This day was no different. I got to 1600 Glenarm, on the 16th Street Mall in Denver early to watch some other rappellers and meet my challenge. The first rappellers I saw were Batman and Robin. I knew I was in good company! Geared up in my Super P outfit...I knew I had big boots to fill. I also knew that I was up for the challenge!

I gathered a posse of Super P friends who joined me to watch from the street, a nearby bar or on the rooftop prior to the rappel. We sat around, laughed and watched the other rappellers while I waited for my friend Courtney to arrive.

I did a practice rappel 3 stories and remembered the feeling of rappeling off a rock. This wasn't much different...the first minute when you get up on the ledge and have to lean back before descending down the wall is the hardest. With a BIG smile on my face, I let go and leaned back. Breathing every move and step of the way, I began to rappell. I got to the bottom, still unafraid of the long rappell to come down the 31 stories.

I took the elevator back up and got ready to go. I got to the top of the building and a father and son went before me. We shared a couple of laughs, a couple of nervous giggles and then they were off. As I sat with myself beforehand, I realized the fear was actually small compared to the fears I have faced in my journey with OneGiving and my other life challenges I had faced before. It was a good reminder for me of how far I have come and to remember how much I can truly handle. I was really grateful and spent a moment to take it all in - the view of the surrounding Denver and Colorado mountains. Breathtaking!

Then I got harnessed in and hooked up, I stepped up to the ledge. At that moment, there was a flash of "Oh boy, what have I got myself into?" Then the camera woman said "Smile," so I did. With that I took a deep breath and leaned back...Ahhh, here comes Super P! I relaxed into it reminding myself to enjoy!

Wow, what a feeling! Rappeling down the building was much different than any rappel off a rock. I could feel the heat of the concrete building. The totally straight vertical was intense...I slowly descended trying to remind myself to breathe and take a moment every few steps to look around and enjoy this experience. So I did. I could feel my cape flapping in the wind. I could feel my core/abs shake, my arms tighten and release and my legs quiver slightly. I could feel everything. I felt alive! I had made the decision a few years back to really choose into life...and I realized I really was living!

I felt so grateful as I observed myself at moments almost as if outside my body and witnessing my mind shift from topic to topic, only to catch myself, take a deep breath and remind myself to take it all in. I could hear the passersby on the street whistling. I could hear the announcer egging on my cheering squad and then the cheers coming from above and below me.

I felt so supported, so loved, so grateful! As I got closer to the bottom, my legs no longer seemed to be able to grasp the building, a feeling I hadn't felt, but finally, I released and let go and just enjoyed the last little bit down the rope. I looked back to my friends and waved a BIG wave with a BIG smile.

As I arrived at the bottom, my friend Deb said look over here and SMILE...I turned as though nothing else in the world mattered and smiled the biggest smile I have smiled in a long time. This is life, this is love, this is living. I was and am so grateful! I was so in a state of excitement, I hardly noticed the HOT fireman who caught me at the bottom of my rappel...oops, oblivious!

I raised over $3,500 in donations for the rappel and the Cancer League...thanks to the love and support of the people in my life! Over 175 rappellers in two days raised over $250,000 for cancer research! What an amazing experience...and great reminder that it is in giving that we receive!

Thank you to the Colorado Cancer League and to all of the people who supported me and believed in me. Thank you for being there in my life each and every day to remind me of my greatness. I hope that I can reflect that back to you all and remind you that when we believe we can do something, anything is possible. Thank you.

in peace and love ;) pilar

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