A Crummy Day on the Stairs

My first training session for my next stair climb race was a complete success…

And my second training session completely sucked.

I had done five 20-story climbs during my first training session (read about it here), so my goal this time around was to do six. I started off well, and did my first two in under 5 minutes. By the end of the second climb, though, I was feeling wiped, and my attitude soured quickly.

As I started up my third climb, all I could think about how I didn’t want to be there, and how I didn’t want to do this, and how miserable I was. I didn’t even try to put a positive spin on it. My piss-poor mindset surely didn’t help anything, and, naturally, my times started slowing down.

And that made me grumpier.

After my fourth or fifth climb, I saw my friend Madeleine, who was also there for training. She asked how I was doing, and I grumbled something negative not wanting to be there. Madeleine dismissed my comment with a casual “oh, you’d regret it if you didn’t come,” and she followed that with “you’ll feel great when you’re done.”

Damnit, she was right. Well, she was half right. I would’ve regretted it if I didn’t come. I accepted that idea internally (although I was way too grumpy to acknowledge it out loud), and tried to remember that as I finished my six climbs. I ignored the part about feeling great afterwards. We’ll see about that, I thought.

RELATED CONTENT: Read My US Bank Tower Race Recap From Last Year. This Race Is Coming Up Again in Less Than 2 Months!

I was gathering my stuff after finishing my sixth climb when Madeleine turned the corner with another friend, Alberto. They were headed for the stairwell entrance. “C’mon, David, one more time!” they said, in unison.

“Naw, I’ve done my six. I’m going home.”

They stopped, and switched to a scolding tone that you would use when a puppy piddles on the rug. “David. Let’s go.”

I stood up, looked at both of them, said “Fuck you,” and marched into the stairwell. I began climbing a seventh time. I think I saw smiles on them. I may have smiled a little bit too.

The seventh climb felt a little better, partly because Madeleine and I climbed together for most of it (before we sprinted the final three floors, and she zoomed ahead), and I really like hanging out with Madeleine.

After the workout, I realized that Madeleine wasn’t half right earlier, she was entirely right. Now that I was done, I did feel great.


Training sessions are in the building on the left, but the race will be in the building behind me.

On the train home, I reminded myself that I’m not going to be some sort of rock star every single day. I need to remember and embrace that stair climbing is difficult, and that’s why I train. Training is practice. I won’t become better at something without practice. And I won’t show improvement at every practice either, and that’s OK, because that’s not the point. It’s just practice.

I also realized this: Even though I was moaning and groaning for most of the workout and needed some tough love encouragement from friends, I ended up exceeding my goal and climbing seven times. That’s something to be proud of.

Keep it up, David!


Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. There’s also a “Sign Me Up” box at the top of the right-hand column on this page where you can subscribe to receive new posts via email!

4 Responses to A Crummy Day on the Stairs

  1. Kristin says:

    You are such an inspiration to me David! Tomorrow I am starting my official training for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in L.A. And I need to remember that my mindset is going to influence my outcome. But no matter what the mindset is, I have to keep moving. Thank you!

  2. Madeleine says:

    I love hanging out with you too David!! We all have our off days – but that’s what workout buddies are for – to lift up your spirits and drag you up for one more rep (despite profanity laced protests)! I know you’d do the same for me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: