Look out below

Even though the safety equipment has been discussed and double checked it’s still difficult to not break a sweat. Despite knowing there are several safety measures, the only safety measures running through your head are the mats on the ground and the rope keeping you in the air. Two seconds later all the nervous thoughts are gone, replaced by the thought of immediately doing it again.

University students and faculty had the opportunity to experience the thrill of rappelling yesterday. Bowling Green Army ROTC conducted rappel training on the wrestling deck of Memorial Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The training session offered participants more than just thrills.

“We want to provide an opportunity for everyone to build their confidence,” Master Sgt. William Kyle said.

The BG ROTC conducts the training session once every semester. Anyone was able to participate after filling out a waiver form.

The training session was setup into three different stages.

There were two confidence building training areas for those rappelling for the first time. The first area explained how to make yourself fall and how to brake. Tightening the line behind the small of the back, brakes and loosing the line while moving it parallel to your hips– falls. The first stage also lets the person know how the safety equipment works.

The second confidence building stage lets participants rappel down the north side bleachers. This stage gave the participant a short fall. The bleachers give you a place to brace your feet as you descend.

After going through the confidence building stages the next step is rappelling from the rafters. The final stage was a drop of over 30 feet. There were no bleachers to brace your feet and slow the fall. All that a participant could use was the skills that they learned during the two confidence stages.

Rappelling is used by the military when trying to enter hard to reach places. When an aircraft is unable to touch down on the ground, rappelling is used to get the soldiers to the desired location. Rappelling can also be used for descending buildings and towers during urban maneuvers.

The Bowling Green Army ROTC uses rappelling to build cadet character.

“Rappelling helps cadets overcome their fear of heights and become better leaders,” Kyle said.

The cadets present were enthusiastic about rappelling. Some of the cadets did five or more drops in an hour time. Every jump is heralded by cheers of support and improvement tips from the other cadets and officers.

Building confidence was a theme throughout the day. Participants, not just the cadets came for the challenge.

“Once a year I do something that I’m petrified of,” Lori Young, a graphic design professor said.

Young seemed terrified during her first rappel but quickly went back for a second round after her first try.

She was impressed by the cadets’ ability to stay in control of what appears to be an uncontrollable situation.