"Why in the world are you jumping off a building?"

Courtney Byrd
4 years ago

Since I began my fundraising efforts earlier this year, I've been asked this question several times. It's typically accompanied by a look of confusion or utter disbelief.

"Why would you jump off a perfectly good building?"
"Are you not afraid of heights?"
"Have you trained in rappelling?"

My short answers are usually: "why not," "I guess I will find out" and "not for a second," respectively. Next, a comment about how "brave" I am is made, to which my response is always: I most definitely am not.

The definition of "brave" is: ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage. Rappelling (it's not actually JUMPING, people) is not brave. And you would know this if you have ever met, spoken to or read about any Wish Kid. Just think about the same questions from their perspective:

"Are you not afraid of [insert terrifying medical condition/symptoms here]?"
"Have you trained in [fighting for your life]?"

Wish Kids do not have the luxury of choosing to face a scary situation. They don't know what will happen, how they will feel or how hard their journey will be. But every Wish Kid I've ever met, spoken to or read about faces life's scariest scenarios with a smile, kindness and truly resilient lust for life. THAT is showing courage, a display of true bravery.

So, this brings me to my long answer to this common question: Why am I jumping off of a perfectly good building (and the W Hotel is DEFINITELY perfectly good - I mean, have you been to their WET Deck?!)?

While this experience absolutely pales in comparison to the experience of a Wish Kid, it gets me out of my comfort zone and facing some fears (I'm giving all Wish Kids full permission to laugh at me if I cry.) I also get the chance to show my support for their individual journeys and struggles, while raising money to grant wishes that will give them a (often much-needed) dose of hope and excitement.

I can never fully imagine the bravery of a Wish Kid. But if "jumping off a perfectly good building" gives me a bit more perspective and appreciation for it, while raising awareness for others to hopefully do the same... then I guess I'll see you at the top!

  • 46 |
    Kim - 4 years ago
    You might just have inspired me to try rappelling next year! I'll definitely be there to cheer you on.
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    • 10952 |
      Courtney - 4 years ago
      Awesome! And thanks... See you this weekend!
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    • 10000 |
      Jim - 4 years ago
      Courtney, since Kim was inspired by your story, and she was there to watch me get my Spider-Man on, I think we just got a new participant for next year. Thank you for your participation in this great event for this great organization! jb
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