Rope A Dope

Most of you may have heard about a fundraising program for Special Olympics called “Over the Edge.” People raise a minimum of $1,000 in donations in order to have an opportunity to rappel off a building in Waikiki.

Sounds crazy, right? But you’d be surprised by how many people do it, probably as it serves a great cause and also is an extreme thrill.

Last year, our managing editor Yu Shing Ting did it and ever since has wanted me to do it. Of course, I can’t look like a wimp, so I told her yes. After all, I’ve parachuted solo several times before there was tandem, I’ve flown into the eye of a Category 5 hurricane, swum in a shark cage and baby-sat my wife’s twin nephews Ian and Kevin.

Before I knew it, Yu Shing signed me up — although there was a “by the way.” Because this year they moved the rappel to Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, which is 40 stories high, at least 10 stories higher than last year. That’s not much lower than the point at which the window washers were stranded on 1 World Trade Center last week.

There I stood on a scaffold platform hanging over the roof ledge of the Hyatt. There were three rope-rappelling bays: A, B and C. The guy hooking us up looked like a cross between the Duck Dynasty men and a millennial hipster.

It was media day, so two people going before me were Tony Silva of Da Braddahs and Jenn Boneza from OC-16’s Outside Hawaii. They went down on ropes A and B. I was feeling strong — up until I heard a conversation between the hipster rigger and an event PR woman. She had asked him which rope I was rappelling down. He said, “C.”

Wide-eyed, she yelled back, questioning, “I thought we weren’t supposed to use C?”

I was immediately concerned and then noticed that C had a different-colored rope than A and B, almost as though it recently was changed out. The hipster calmly replied, “Nah, it’s cool.”

Well, the fact that I’m writing this tells you everything went fine and it was an exhilarating experience to promote a great cause. I just need to remember the next time Yu Shing approaches me about some thrill-seeking event to kick her the heck out of my office.