A College Campus Invasion (Final Preparations for New York!)

Quick Sidebar: How awesome is this photo? It was taken by the event photographer at the Heroes Memorial Climb in Dallas. My pal Scott was the first to show it to me, via Facebook, and I literally did a double-take, because I didn’t think it was me. But it is, just a few steps away from completing a 114-story climb.

David Reunion Tower - CROP

There’s one more photo I forgot to include in yesterday’s post:


See? The Reunion Tower isn’t THAT tall – I can reach the top of it with my hand! This photo was taken at the Sixth Floor Museum, which commemorates John F. Kennedy and contains a wealth of information and artifacts regarding his assassination. The museum is housed in what was the Texas School Book Depository, and you can stand just a few feet away from the very window where Lee Harvey Oswald shot our 35th President, who was in a motorcade on the street below. This photo was taken on the 7th floor, directly above Oswald’s perch. It’s a fascinating museum, and I recommend it.

Moving On… From Dallas to New York City!

I’m leaving soon for New York, where I’ll be competing in the inaugural race at One World Trade Center. I get tingly from excitement and nerves whenever I say that! I’m getting pumped for this race. I think it will be a profound experience.

My friends and readers have really stepped up, too, donating $1,061 to charity in my name! There’s still time to make a donation. Click here to read more about the race and the charity, or click here to donate.


I want to make sure I’m totally ready for this 90-story event, so in addition to the recent race in Dallas, I’ve hit the stairs the couple more times in the past week. And my newest training venue is a beautiful one… The Remsen Bird Hillside Theater at Occidental College.


That’s me at center stage.

This Greek-style outdoor theater was built in 1925, can seat 3,650, and was named for a former President of Occidental, a small liberal arts college about 25 minutes away.


There are stairs everywhere! There are eight aisles, which range from 33-74 steps, and you can also climb the actual concrete benches, which are double the height of the aisle steps.

There I am again, house left.

There I am again, house left.

I’ve been twice, once with my friend Madeleine (when we took all these photos), and again with my friend Tavi. Madeleine and I created a workout, which Tavi and I more or less replicated.

RELATED CONTENT: Check out my posts about other fun stair training venues, like the Hollywood Bowl and stairs where movies have been filmed!

The workout started with a warm-up of going up and down every aisle, then up and down every bench section between the aisles.


Then we did drills in the center section, where it’s actually the equivalent of 79 steps to the highest point in the audience.  We did exercises that activated different parts of our leg, by facing to the sides while climbing, or incorporating an extra leg lift into each step. Some of the drills I learned by watching Apolo Ohno climb stairs, like box jumps, which are not easy – especially when you’re doing 35 of them in a row!


After a ton of drills, Madeleine and I did a sprint up and down every aisle, and finished with a cool-down by climbing a couple aisles one final time.


And of course we made time for a selfie!


My workout with Madeleine had a total of roughly 1,900 stairs, and Tavi and I did about the same thing, plus sit-ups and planks.

After my workout with Madeleine, I had some extra time, so I wandered around the Occidental campus, which I had never been to before. Barack Obama famously went to school here (although he transferred to Columbia when he was a junior), and Ben Affleck and Luke Wilson also went to school here, although both dropped out.


You’ve probably seen parts of Occidental, because it’s been used as a filming location tons of times, for nearly 100 years. All the high school scenes in “Clueless” were filmed at Occidental, as were all the college campus scenes on “Beverly Hills 90210,” you know, after the kids graduated from high school. I was geeked to learn that a scene from “Jurassic Park III” was filmed here – at the beginning of the movie, when Dr. Grant is giving a speech in a crowded lecture hall. Plus, the whole campus is built into a hillside, so I found plenty more steps!


All in all, I meandered for about 45 minutes, and covered 2 miles. Add that to my hour-long stair workout, where I burned an estimated 850 calories (thank you, heart rate monitor, for that info!), and I was ready to call it a day!

My next post will probably be my One World Trade Center recap post… please send good vibes my way!

Keep it up, David!


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4 Responses to A College Campus Invasion (Final Preparations for New York!)

  1. G.M. Grena says:

    David, yes, that’s a fully awesome photo of you finishing the Dallas staircase! I’m envious of you (& the “lovely & inspiring” Madeleine) getting to do 1WTC tomorrow, so have a great/fun time, & I look forward to your recap!

  2. G.M. Grena says:

    Wow! I just watched your finish-line video! You put in a great effort at the end compared to some of the other climbers who finished at a casual pace & probably lost a few seconds in the process. Nice job, David! What a thrill that must’ve been!

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