I’ve been training in a skyscraper stairwell again. I’ve headed to a 55-story skyscraper twice in the past few weeks to climb the stairs, and I’m headed back there tomorrow.
I noticed myself thinking unfair thoughts while in the stairwell during those two workouts, so I’m calling myself out on it, because I need to stop. I need to shift my thinking.
Climbing stairs is hard. You know it, I know it, we all know it. During each of those two workouts, I caught myself passing judgment, internally, when I was able to pass guys, on the stairs, that seemed like they should be more fit than I am.
What I should have done was focus on my own workout and stay positive about my stamina and ability to climb consistently. But what I did was make assumptions about these other guys, who were probably within 10 years of my age and noticeably slimmer: They’re weak. They’re out of shape. I could crush them during a race.
No. No. No. No. No. Just NO.
I should not think those things. I don’t know anything about these guys. And making assumptions isn’t the right thing to do, because chances are, they’ll be wrong.
Mostly, though, I shouldn’t do it because I hate when people make assumptions about me. I know I probably shouldn’t care, but I do possess healthy levels of ego and vanity, and sometimes these sorts of things get to me.
Look – I’ve lost and kept off a lot of weight, and I’m proud of that. But I’m also still a very big guy. I carry around extra pounds. I have a gut. I’m 6’4″ and 254 pounds – and that puts my BMI number at 30.9. But that standard, I’m literally obese. (I don’t really give a flying fuck about my BMI, really, I only mention it to provide a frame of reference.)
And the unfortunately truth is that lots of people make assumptions about heavy people. They think that they lack discipline, drive, or work ethic, in all aspects of their life. A couple years after I lost the weight, a former work colleague admitted to me, after seeing photos of me at 402 pounds, that they would’ve seriously questioned my ability to do my job had I interviewed with them at that weight.
I’m no longer 402 pounds, but I still don’t like when people question my abilities. So I need to buckle down and not make those judgments about others. In regards to passing people in the stairwell, the situation is pretty cut and dry: we’re all rock stars. We all decided to devote time out of our day to climb to the top of a 54-story stairwell. Multiple times, even! That’s an awesome feat. There’s no room for negativity in that stairwell, so I’m committed to not allowing any negativity to enter my brain.
My workouts have indeed been awesome. The building is the North Tower of the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Los Angeles. It’s been a couple years since I’ve trained there. It’s 55 stories, and we have a couple choices when we climb. We can climb to the 44th floor, which is the designated floor to exit and take the elevator back down. Or we can climb to the 54th floor, and then walk back down the stairs to the 44th and catch the elevator.
During my first workout, I climbed four times: three times to the 44th floor, and one time to the 54th. 186 total stories!
I wasn’t feeling so great during the second workout – it was during the worst part of my poison oak outbreak – but I still managed three climbs to the 44th floor. 132 total stories!
The great thing about the 44th floor is that it’s completely unoccupied – just empty office space. You can walk around and get great views of the city in all directions.
And the workouts happen from 6-7:30pm, which means they end just as the sun is setting over the ocean. Can you imagine what this view looks like when it’s not cloudy?
These training sessions are provided by the Downtown Ketchum YMCA, to provide racers the opportunity to train in a stairwell before their big stair race next month. If you’re in LA and want to climb a billion stairs, just sign up for the race here, and I’ll see you at one of the practices!
Keep it up, David!
Speaking of stair races, I’ve signed up for a bunch this fall, and I’m getting really excited! I’m putting together my fundraising pages, and I’ll be asking for your help, very shortly, with my fundraising goals. All the races benefit great causes!
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