November 18, 2013
Damn, Saturday was an exciting day! I competed in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s CF Climb, and it was a milestone race.
Not only was it my 5th stair climb race, but it was my 10th race overall! (That number also includes a 5k, three 10ks, and an open water swim. Read about all of them on my Races & Events page.)
BEST YET, I set a personal record! More on that later. First, check out the building I scaled: The 54-story Figueroa at Wilshire building in downtown Los Angeles:
Read the rest of this entry »
November 8, 2013
In a short 48 hours, I’ll be stretching and warming up, just minutes away from starting my next stair climb race. The race is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Hike the Halo, and the route is up and down all the steps in all the sections throughout Angel Stadium. I’m been excited for a while now, but there have been some looming questions: Read the rest of this entry »
November 5, 2013
Yesterday’s post, about my stumble and fall off the wagon, was pretty depressing, but one of the best ways to get back on track is to focus on the positive. And I realized recently that I’ve been kicking ass and taking names in regards to one little component of my workouts, and now I’m really motivated to keep going!
Even though I’m currently training for two upcoming stair climb races, my exercise is pretty varied. That’s how I like it! In addition to stair climb workouts, like this one, I take exercise classes, lift weights, and do other types of cardio. I’ll often start my workouts with a 10-minute warm-up on the StairMaster. And what I can complete in 10 minutes has improved dramatically!
Read the rest of this entry »
October 24, 2013
I took a picture earlier today. Looks like a parking garage, right?
Well, guess what? It IS a parking garage! Yesterday, though, it served another function… as my gym.
Read the rest of this entry »
October 21, 2013
I’ve been hitting the stairs hard. I have two big stair climb races coming up, and I want to be ready! Read about those races here, and support me by making a donation here or here (if I don’t make my fundraising minimums, I won’t be able to compete, and you don’t want to see me cry. I’m an ugly crier!).
Last month, I completed an awesome stair workout on stairways seen in classic Hollywood comedies. On Friday, I did another fantastic stair workout, this time on stairs that were just featured on TV! Have you seen the new NBC comedy “Welcome to the Family”? It premiered a few weeks ago, and on the October 10th episode, one of the stars, Mike O’Malley (who also plays Kurt’s father on “Glee”), was shown running up a big public stairway:
I’ve been Read the rest of this entry »
September 30, 2013
It was a great weekend, ladies and gentlemen, and it started with an incredible event: The 20th Annual Stair Climb for Los Angeles, a charity race up the stairs of the US Bank Tower, the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
How tall is it? The roof is over 1,000 feet off the ground. There are 75 stories. There are 1,679 steps. On Friday, I raced up all of them.
This is my third tower race, but my first in the US Bank Tower. My first two races were in the Aon Center, a 63-story tower a few blocks away, but the US Bank Tower is 12 stories higher. And that’s a big difference when you’re climbing stairs!
But I was mentally and physically prepared. I’ve been training hard for weeks (and feeling it afterwards). I was ready to go. The race was on a Friday afternoon, and it was a huge event. There were nearly 3,000 climbers, compared to 600+ for the Aon Center events. The whole thing was organized by (and benefited) the Ketchum-Downtown YMCA, and racers were scheduled to enter the building, one at a time, every 8 or 10 seconds from 11:45am until nearly sunset.
My start time was 3:30, and I got there plenty early so I could relax, stretch, and warm-up. That also meant lots of time to Read the rest of this entry »
September 23, 2013
On November 18, 1932, the biggest stars in Hollywood gathered at the now-demolished Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. The occasion? The 5th Annual Academy Awards. The evening is noteworthy for a couple reasons: Walt Disney received his first 2 Oscar statues (he eventually would receive 24 more), and the Academy introduced categories to honor short films for the first time. The very first winner in the Best Live Action Short Film, Comedy category was the Laurel and Hardy classic “The Music Box,” in which Laurel and Hardy are tasked with delivering a piano to the top of a giant staircase. As you can imagine, hijinks ensue. The entire film is on YouTube – watch it here.
What does any of this have to do with me? I’ll tell you. The other day, I trained on the very same staircase that was used in “The Music Box,” 81 years after that film was released. Here’s what the stairs looked like in the film:
And here’s what they look like now: Read the rest of this entry »
August 21, 2013
The answer to the question in the title is: BE FORGETFUL! That’s what happened today.
I was on my fifth day of working out after recovering from my sprained foot. I was scheduled to have my first session in three weeks with Mo, the personal trainer, so I headed off to Crunch in Burbank (which, unlike the West Hollywood Crunch, never had any salacious displays of showering customers). The Burbank Crunch is located on the top floor of a shopping center that also includes a Barnes & Noble, an AMC multiplex, and a couple restaurants. It’s served by a giant parking garage that also handles parking for the Ikea across the street. I can easily park on the roof of the garage and walk a few feet to get inside Crunch, but I never do that, because A) I’d have to wind my way up through the levels of the garage, which takes time, and B) I prefer the lower levels, as they’re covered, which keeps my car out of the hot sun.
The parking garage has a back entrance that leads directly to one of the lowest floors, and that floor is nearly always empty, so I park there. Which means I then have to take the stairs to get to Crunch (there’s also escalators and an elevator, but I always take the stairs). First there’s these:
Then there’s these: Read the rest of this entry »
April 8, 2013
It’s been a rather triumphant weekend, and I’m so proud to share it here. On Saturday, I competed in my second stair climb race, up the stairwell of the Aon Center in downtown Los Angeles, and it was a fantastically excruciating, wonderfully brutal morning. Grab your favorite hot beverage… and I’ll tell you all about it!
The event was the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Stair Climb 2013. I did the same event last year (read about it here), and while I was nervous, I wasn’t nervous for the same reasons. Last year, I didn’t really know what to expect when I made my way up that stairwell, but now that I’ve done it before, I wasn’t so nervous about that. I was more nervous about how I’d do.
I was significantly less prepared than I was last year. Last year, I spent months and months training for this thing, and this time around, I only really started training in earnest a few weeks ago. Plus, I’d been battling a cold that kept me home from work one day last week and messed up my exercise regimen. Prior to the event on Saturday, the last time I had worked out was way back on Monday.
Then, of course, there was the realization that the Aon Center is still a big ass tall fucking building. I was reminded of that when I saw it looming in the distance as I drove downtown.
It only gets taller as you get closer. Read the rest of this entry »
March 25, 2013
It turns out that this post is months and months in the making. Way back in 2012, I decided I would sign up for the American Lung Association 2013 Fight For Air Climb. It’s a charity event that involves racing up the stairwell of the 63-story Aon Center in downtown Los Angeles. If this rings a bell, it’s because I participated last year (read all about it here), so when I heard there was an early bird discounted registration for this year’s event, I bit the bullet and signed up. I honestly didn’t know if I would participate or not, but I figured I could sort that minor detail out later, and, in the meantime, I saved $10 or $15 dollars. Of course, I never got around to figuring out if I would actually participate… because I kinda forgot all about it. Read the rest of this entry »