Bank of America Chicago Marathon? Been there. Chicago Triathlon? Done that. Bike the Drive? That too. Stair climbing Chicago's tallest buildings? You betcha. When it comes to Chicago's big-name endurance events, or the ones that truly can only happen in the Windy City, that test your physical fitness and mental strength--pushing through those long, hard miles, or psyching yourself up for the mass swim start--you've done them all. Except for one: the Skyline Plunge.
It's not going to put your legs through the ringer like a marathon would, and you're not going to feel your lungs about to burst like you might in a stair climb, but the Skyline Plunge, a bi-yearly fundraising event put on by the Respiratory Health Association, might trump them all when it comes to the mental side of these challenges.
Why? Because you're rappelling down the 27 floors of theWit hotel. Outside. As Chicago's finest winds blow around you. With one crazy, yet unique, view of the city. While crowds stare--and cheer as RHA announces every participant's name as they make the plunge--at you from below or inside their hotel rooms. If you're scared of heights, you have to conquer those fears. If you're anxious about stepping backward over the edge to start plunging, you have to get over it--and fast. If you're unsure of how you're going to remember all of the instructions given to you by Over the Edge, the company on-hand to make sure this event is a safe venture for all 80 participants, you have to think fast and go with your gut (a lot easier to do when you're actually up there plunging, I swear).
You could have seen the spring Skyline Plungers scaling down theWit's famous lightning bolt yesterday, May 4. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., approximately 80 participants scaled the hotel's façade, an adventure that raises roughly $85,000 for RHA and its mission to promote healthy lungs and fight lung disease.
And if you're interested in taking the plunge, you can sign up for the fall edition of the Skyline Plunge which will be held Sunday, September 7. Registration is known to fill quickly for these events--you are scaling a Chicago building after all--but you can save your spot for the September plunge, and at a discount, if you sign up by May 11. RHA is offering a promotion between now and May 11 that gives participants a 50 percent discount on their registration fee. Usually the Skyline Plunge costs $150 to register plus a $1,000 fundraising commitment. While signing up means you're committing to raise at least $1,000 in the fight against lung disease, the Skyline Plunge registration fee is only $75 until midnight on May 11. Mother's Day gift anyone?
For more details on the Skyline Plunge or to watch a video of the action-packed adventure, check out the event website.