Race Recap: Climbing To the Highest Roof in Town!

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.

Us-Bank-Tower-Los-AngelesHow 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 »


Want to Make “Love Jam”? Try This 450-Year-Old Recipe

September 26, 2013

This post will be a little off-topic, but I couldn’t resist sharing when I’ve learned in the past day or so. It will contain a recipe, written by a physician, so it’s not entirely off-topic for a health and weight loss blog, but it is a stretch. And that’s because that physician was Nostradamus, and he published this recipe a few years ago, in 1555.

Let me go back a few steps. I’ve always been a huge fan of game shows – I’ve even been a contestant on two of them (head to my “Other TV” page for links to watch online). Yesterday, I was watching “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire,” and the contestant made it all the way to the million-dollar question, which is extraordinarily rare. The question was: Read the rest of this entry »

Sore. Sore. Sore. Sore. Sore.

September 25, 2013

I slept terribly the other night. Why? Because I’m so incredibly sore. I’ve been pushing myself hard lately, in preparation for my climb up the stairs of the tallest building on the west coast, and I’m feeling it throughout my body. Most of the time, I don’t mind feeling sore. In fact, I like it – it means I’m doing something right. But last night, I was so sore that every time I shifted or turned in my sleep (and I toss and turn a lot), my entire lower body would starting aching, and I’d wake up.

It began late last week, a day after my brutal (and wonderful) workout on the public stairways in Silver Lake (read about it here). In total, I ran up over 1,800 steps, and ran down them too.


I followed it up, the next day, with Read the rest of this entry »

An Academy-Award-Winning (and Grueling) Workout

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 »

A Week of Delicious Blue Apron Food

September 19, 2013

Last week, a big package arrived at my door. I love big packages! What could it be?


FREE FOOD! I love food, but free food is even better. It was a gift, arranged by my friends Heather and Adam in New Jersey. They’ve become rabid fans of Blue Apron, and when they were given the opportunity to send food to someone, they chose me. How kind!

Blue Apron is a company that Read the rest of this entry »

Scuba Diving…with SEA LIONS!

September 17, 2013

I went scuba diving again on Saturday! Keep reading – there are some awesome photographs…and a video! Just to get things started, here’s me (on the right) and my buddy Mikael, roughly 50 feet under the surface:


There were a total of three dives, and the third one was a doozy. Strong currents, and waves that were rocking the boat back and forth. Mikael and I started started our descent, and about 12 or 15 feet down, I exhaled, and that’s when my mask started filling up with blood. Uh oh.

Read the rest of this entry »

My Most Awesome (and Historical) Hike Yet!

September 16, 2013

Lately, my nerd flag has been waving most prominently in my Cardio to Vegas posts, where I explore local geography and history as I make a virtual run from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. And while I’m due for a Cardio to Vegas update (I’ve amassed over 25 miles since my last update), I’m going to nerd out right now on something else entirely. It involves the hike I went on yesterday – a hike that was one of the best hikes I’ve ever been on, because I got to visit 100-year-old ruins on top of a mountain.


The trail starts in  Read the rest of this entry »

Support My Climb… It’s Two Weeks Away!

September 12, 2013

I’ve been going gangbusters on the StairMaster during the past week and a half. The StairMaster has been part of 5 of my workouts, sometimes as my warm-up, sometimes as more. If you combine those 5 efforts, I’ve gone for 85 minutes and climbed 368 floors. Not too shabby!

There’s a reason I’ve been focusing on the StairMaster, and I was reminded of that reason the other day, when I came face to face with it downtown:


The US Bank Tower. Not only is it the tallest building in Los Angeles, it’s also the Read the rest of this entry »

The Latest and Greatest on My iPod

September 11, 2013

I love listening to music while I’m working out, and I love adding new songs to my workout playlist. It’s always good to switch things up. And it’s been awhile – over a year – since I’ve posted about what I listen to while working up a sweat, so this is long overdue. Check out some of the latest and greatest additions to my playlist (with links to buy the songs on iTunes), and pipe up in the comments section with the songs you love to work out to!

For more workout playlist posts, click here and here.

My workout playlist runs the gamut from hip hop and dance music to classical to showtunes to rock. And my newest favorite songs are quite the eclectic bunch. I got turned on to Rodrigo y Gabriela a few weeks ago, when a friend lent me a CD of theirs. They’re a duo, from Mexico, that write and play energetic, instrumental acoustic guitar pieces. “Santo Domingo” because a quick addition to my workouts. The version I listen to is off their Live in France CD.

The newest rap song that I love is by an artist named Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Simmons, Circa 1981

September 9, 2013

Here’s a special treat: Richard Simmons on the cover of the November 2, 1981 issue of People Magazine!


This isn’t just a picture – I have the actual magazine in my hot little hands! Here’s how I got it: Read the rest of this entry »