I had a red banner gym weekend, although it got off to a shaky start. I wasn’t intending last Friday to be a rest day, but I never made it to the gym. I was a little bummed by my failure to exercise, since I had taken a planned (and deserved) rest day just two days prior, but I didn’t dwell on it. Instead, I decided to make the most of my Saturday and Sunday workouts, and that’s exactly what I did.
My Saturday and Sunday workouts had additional significance, because my gym membership expired on Sunday. I wrote a few posts last month about my decision to switch gyms, and now that transition is complete (there’s more to this story, and I promise to share it soon!). Buh-bye, Burbank Athletic Club, and thank you for 4 wonderful years, and hello, Crunch! Since Burbank Athletic Club has two locations, I thought I’d spend my final weekend as a member hitting both of them – a little farewell tour.
On Sunday, I hit the downtown location, and had a great workout: after warming up, I did 35 minutes of weights, 5 minutes of rowing, and 17 minutes on an elliptical. But my Saturday workout at the northwest location is the momentous one, because it was during that workout that I reached TWO big milestones.
Milestone #1. For the first time ever, I did a full set (3 x 10 reps) of bench presses with over 100 pounds of weight. It was 105 pounds, to be precise – 30 pounds on each end of the bar, and the bar itself is 45. Woo-hoo!
Milestone #2. For the first time ever, I climbed over 100 stories on the StairMaster! I wish there was more of a story to go along with this, but there isn’t. I got on the StairMaster, threw a towel over the display, and started climbing. I had some great music, and before I knew it, I had climbed 75 stories, and I decided in that moment to that I’d push myself to get over 100. I had been close before – my last outing on a StairMaster resulted in a 98-story climb – but today I went 104. HOLY FUCKING SHIT, I CLIMBED 104 STORIES! It took 22 minutes and I burned 375 calories.
Time to add a new building to My Skyscraper Collection! Unfortunately for me, nowhere on the planet is there a building that’s exactly 104 stories tall, so, instead, I’m adding a 102-story building, and it just happens to be one of the most recognizable buildings ever constructed:
THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING!
The Empire State Building is a landmark and an icon for New York City, and was the tallest building in the world from its completion in 1931 until the World Trade Center was completed in 1972. It’s currently the tallest building in New York City, the third tallest building in the U.S. – after Willis (Sears) Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower (which I added to my collection last week) – and the 19th tallest building in the world.
I’ve been inside the Empire State Building, but only the lobby – the line for the observation deck was way too long. I’ve read a lot about the building – a few years ago, I read a fantastic book called “Higher” by Neal Bascomb, which is the nonfiction account of the two rival architects who raced, in the 1920s, to build the tallest building in the world. While they were pushing to outdo each other, and creating the Chrysler Building and Manhattan Company Building in the process, a third architect and developer entered the fray, announcing plans for an even bigger and taller building – the Empire State Building.
“Higher” is an absorbing read – meticulously researched and hard to put down. It goes into detail about how the Empire State Building was built – it “went up like a rocket ship” in under 14 months, and the statistics surrounding its construction are jaw-dropping: Over 3,400 workers clocked in daily. An average of 10,000 tons of steel erected each month. 500 truckloads of material delivered every day – that’s 1 truck a minute. 10 million bricks were laid. 6,500 windows were installed.
Some other Empire State Building fun facts:
- On a clear day, you can see five different states from the observation deck: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.
- The 102nd floor was originally intended to be the landing platform for blimps that would be moored to the building’s spire, but after a couple failed attempts (it was way too windy), this idea was abandoned.
- In the early 70s, after the World Trade Center was completed, it was proposed that 11 additional stories be added to the Empire State Building, to once again make it the tallest building in the world. The idea was rejected.
Yep, I climbed that!
KEEP IT UP, DAVID!