My Skyscraper Collection

Earlier this week, I was telling some co-workers about using the StairMaster.  Basically, I hate it.  I find it difficult, and it’s not fun.  I don’t use it very often (once every couple weeks or so), but I do make myself use it, even though it makes me wince.  Why?  Because I know I can burn a lot of calories in a little amount of time (I love being efficient), and because I’ve managed to create a motivating tool that excites me more than I hate the StairMaster.

All you regular readers may know what my motivating tool is – you’ve seen it in posts like this one and this one.  If you don’t, it’s really simple:  I create a visual representation of my time on the StairMaster by equating my workouts to various skyscrapers around the world.  I love architecture, and I love doing this.  It’s a post-workout highlight!  It’s easy:  After completing my StairMaster workout, and making sure to note how many floors I’ve climbed (the machine keeps track). I go home, do a little internet research, and find a building somewhere that’s the same number of floors, and find a photo of it.  Seeing these towers, and knowing that I just climbed to an equivalent height, feels great.  It may have felt terrible during the actual workout, but the sense of accomplishment after the fact is mind-blowing.

I bring all this up now because, on Tuesday, I StairMastered for 10 minutes as part of my workout (along with 10 minutes on the elliptical and 35 minutes of weightlifting, focusing on arms, chest, and shoulders), and, gasp! I forgot to note how many floors I climbed!  At the time, I was focused on the calorie count – I managed to burn 200 calories in 10 minutes – and I didn’t realize I forgot about the floor count until I was in my car on the way home.  It made me curse out loud.

Because I couldn’t find a building of equivalent height, I decided I’d instead compile all the buildings I’ve climbed since I started keeping track last October.  Want to see them?  Here they are!

I’ve arranged them in order from left to right, based on the number of floors.  The buildings are:

  • CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou, China (80 floors, climbed 12/1/10)
  • JPMorgan Chase Tower, Houston, TX (75 floors, climbed 3/9/11)
  • The Sail @ Marina Bay, Singapore (70 floors, cilmbed 11/9/10)
  • Yokohama Landmark Tower, Yokohama, Japan (70 floors, 4/11/11)
  • 900 North Michigan, Chicago, IL (66 floors, 4/1/11)
  • 1000 de la Gauchetiere, Montreal, Canada (51 floors, climbed 11/3/10)
  • Ernst & Young Bldg, Los Angeles, CA (41 floors, climbed 10/3/10)
  • City Place I, Hartford, CT (38 floors, climbed 5/11/11)

Back in January, I climbed 31 floors, and, just to switch it up, instead of posting a picture of a building, I posted a YouTube of a 31-story building (Ocean Towers, in South Padre Island, TX) that got imploded.  I love demolition videos!

When I first started StairMastering in the fall, I set a goal – to be able to climb 73 floors without stopping.  I picked 73 floors because that’s how many stories are in the Renaissance Center in Detroit, and the US Bank Tower in Los Angeles (they’re the tallest buildings in their respective cities).  Neither of them are in the collage above, though, because the workout where I reached that goal ended with me climbing a total of 80 floors (which is instead represented by the CITIC Plaza).  I ended up sharing a great meal with my dad at the top of the Renaissance Center after reaching that goal, which you can read about here.

Maybe it’s time I start thinking about a new StairMaster/Skyscraper goal… I have a couple ideas in mind already… What do you think my next goal should be?  And do you have any motivational tools to help you get through workouts you don’t particularly enjoy?

While you ponder that, I’ll leave you with one final fact:  I just added up all the floors in all those buildings, and, in total, I have climbed… 522 floors!

Keep it up, David!

10 Responses to My Skyscraper Collection

  1. Debbie says:


    I’m going to the Landmark Tower in Yokohama this summer!

    • David says:

      You are?!? How long will you be in Japan, Debbie? Looks like we have some catching up to do. Talk soon.

      • Debbie says:

        Two weeks…I’m taking students, and the baby. Hey…if you want to get exercise, go to Japan. You have to walk up and down stairs all the time to get to the shrines…plus, hardly any elevators or escalators. I’ll be dragging a 19 lb. baby with me everywhere.

      • David says:

        Of course, the image in my head is literally of you dragging the baby …on the ground… like you’d ever do that. So is the tower a point of interest just because it’s the tallest building in Japan, or are there other reasons to include it on the itinerary?

  2. Sheilah Lowe says:

    Simply, keep it up, David!!

  3. Chance says:

    This is my first visit to your blog, but it won’t be the last. First, you are freaking adorable. Second, I love your writing style. Thanks for sharing your journey and I look forward to what’s to come for you! Best of luck – Keep it up!!!

  4. Pat says:

    Your next goal should be the dreaded “Bldg. 19” in Burbank! I know I have trouble with that one!

  5. Great minds think alike — I recently started a skyscraper challenge of my own, on a mission to “climb” the world’s tallest skyscrapers on the Stairmill. It’s amazing what a visual can do — before the challenge, I never spent more than 25 minutes on the Stairmill. Now I’m on it for 45 minutes at least!

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