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Just An Abseil and a Few Stairs

11 November 2016

Becky is one of our doctors here at the Hospice and here she shares how she was talked into abseiling 16 floors before running all the way back up for Fright or Flight!

I was approached by Debbie (one of my colleagues) over lunch and told that the fundraising team were looking for a doctor to do the Fright or Flight challenge. It was “just” an abseil and then running back up “a few” stairs. Sounded fun! I hastily agreed and didn’t give it much thought or consideration. Then I googled “Park Regis hotel” and saw how big it was!

On the day of the challenge, I felt very apprehensive and quite sick at the thought of making myself walk over the top of the building but the atmosphere and encouragement was superb at the hotel (and there was no backing out at this late stage). After a quick safety briefing, before I knew it, I was standing on top of the hotel, roped up in a harness. I could feel the cold wind in my hair and was well aware of the drop below me but couldn’t look down.

The shuffle over the edge was tricky because the glass wall of the building was wet and slippy so I did a very ungainly bottom/knee/elbow shuffle to get myself over the side. I then continued in a stylish manner using whichever body part I could to slide down the side of the building until I could get more grip. I gradually got the hang of lowering off but the friction on the rope and my light weight meant that I never got faster than a snail’s pace, but I started to look around, enjoy the view and really enjoyed the rest of the journey down.

The crowd cheered when I landed and I was absolutely buzzing. It was only then, it dawned on me, I’d have to run back up all of those steps for the second part of my challenge. I shed my harness and helmet, the timer went bleep and I was off…. I raced up the first 8 floors and was feeling confident but it was really tough and I soon felt the burn in my thighs and lungs. The next 8 floors were completed at a slower pace but I was pleased with my time (1min 42s) and felt such a huge sense of achievement at the top. I was offered a glass of bubbly but opted for much needed water and then watched the others abseiling down past the Sky Bar.

It was a brilliant event, great fun and well organised. I’m so happy that it has raised over £14,000 so far for this superb charity.

If you’ve been inspired by Dr Becky and would like to take on a challenge for Birmingham St Mary’s, please visit our events section! Your support will help local families living with a terminal illness.