Why HR Director Went 'Over The Edge'

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AUSTIN, Texas-Greater TEXAS Federal Credit Union's head of human resources Tammy Carter recently rappelled down the side of the 32-story One American Center to help raise funds for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Central and South Texas. GTFCU was one of the first 150 individuals or teams to raise a minimum of $1,500 and was granted the chance to send someone "Over the Edge." With $1,650 raised, Carter was selected to represent GTFCU. Below, Carter describes her experience:

CUJ: How did you get selected to be the person to go "over the edge." Did you want to be picked?

Carter: I was selected from a group of GTFCU employees who wanted to participate. We all did the fundraising, but there was only a small group that was willing to rappel. I also ended up being the top fundraiser among my fellow co-workers. Yes, I was definitely hoping that I would be the one chosen to rappel. I was thrilled when I was told that I would be the employee to represent GTFCU.

CUJ: Have you any experience rappelling, whether it be down a building or perhaps mountaineering?

Carter: No, this was my first experience with rappelling.

CUJ: How tall was the building, and was there any training involved?

Carter: The One American Center is a 32-story building, which equates to 320 feet high. Once registration was complete, we were taken to the top of the building and given instructions/training and then we were able to rappel over one story to get the feel of what the process was like.

CUJ: How did the event work?

Carter: We were asked to arrive an hour before our scheduled rappel time so that we could register and go through a training process. There were three separate ropes with someone rappelling on each rope, all going at the same time. You were able to rappel down at your own pace. There were prizes for best costume, fastest rappel, slowest rappel, etc. and I initially said that I wanted to take it slow and enjoy it, as it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I achieved that as I found out after the event that I was the slowest rappeller.

CUJ:Do you have a fear of heights, and-if so-how did you overcome it? Also, what's that first step over the side like?

Carter: I am fortunate in that I do not have any fear of heights so there was not that component to overcome. It was exciting to step over the side and be able to get to a place where I could enjoy the view of downtown Austin and appreciate the rappelling experience.

CUJ: What lessons did you learn about rappelling down buildings, and what advice would you give others?

Carter: I realized that it came easy for me. I learned that there is a skill set involved with it and even though it was fun there was work to it, as you are being blown around on the side of the building. I would encourage people to take opportunities that are afforded them and experience their own version of going "over the edge"-whatever that means to them. Once completed there is gratitude and a sense of accomplishment in knowing that you did it.

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