Watch two guys step off the side of Dallas' 56-story Reunion Tower

As Gary Mendell might tell you, the first step is usually the hardest. For me, that meant stepping off the side of a 56-story building.

Mendell embedded a thought in my head before that leap of faith: The first step is often the hardest when it comes to overcoming anything worthwhile, especially drug addiction.

His team at Shatterproof, a national non-profit, hosts wild rappelling events all over the country to raise awareness for addiction as a disease. Mendell's son, Brian, took his life after struggling with addiction, and Mendell knows first-hand its pains and stigmas. On Saturday, May 21, anyone who raises $5,000 can rappel off Reunion Tower in Dallas. Anyone else can watch for free.

The Dallas dive down Reunion Tower made history as the highest building this group had ever rappelled.

Gary Mendell, center, started a non-profit in honor of his son, who suffered from drug addiction and died in 2011.

As I took my own first step over the guardrail 560 feet above the ground along with fellow Dallas Morning News journalist Sean Lester, I wondered why on earth I'd signed up for this. It was terrifying. But it was likely nothing compared to what more than 20 million Americans who fall victim to drug addiction must go through when they choose to reach out for help.

A very friendly team of rappelling experts cracked a few jokes, adjusted my harness and before I knew it, I was danging by a few ropes.

Watch us step over the edge and on top of the world:

Just in case we weren't nervous enough, we also streamed the stunt live. Take a look:

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Feeling fearless? You can rappel off Reunion Tower in Dallas this month


Reunion Tower at Hyatt Regency Dallas