April 19, 2016
This weekend’s Fight For Air Climb in Los Angeles, benefiting the American Lung Association, was the single toughest stair race I’ve ever done. For the first time in my 34-race career, I questioned whether or not I could finish. It was challenging, yes, but also excruciatingly painful and downright frightening.
The morning began wonderfully. I arrived at the event when plenty of time to prepare, warm-up, and stretch. Even though the 63-story Aon Center in downtown Los Angeles is a tall, monolithic structure, I feel quite comfortable racing there. And I should: this was my fifth consecutive year doing this race.
The building and race has a special place in my memory, because Read the rest of this entry »
March 22, 2016
I competed in my fifth stair race of 2016 on Saturday, and it felt really great to return to 555 California in the heart of San Francisco.
I did this race for the first time last year, and it was tough. I was getting over an rough illness, so I wasn’t in peak physical shape. It’s also a hard stairwell – it’s pretty steep, and because of mezzanines and a tall lobby, it’s more than the 52 stories they advertise. All in all, it was Read the rest of this entry »
March 1, 2016
On Sunday, I competed in Scale the Strat, the annual race up the stairs of the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. Here I am, a few steps away from the finish line, 1,391 steps above the Las Vegas strip!
I tend to get nervous before all my races, and I like that. It’s a reminder that these events are important to me. But I felt differently before Scale the Strat: the nervousness was at higher-than-usual levels… and was paired with an impending sense of dread. Read the rest of this entry »
February 21, 2016
Sunday was a great day for milestones. I competed in my 30th (!) stair climb race. It was held at Republic Plaza, the tallest building in Denver. 56 stories tall!
Denver is the 12th city that I’ve raced in. I’m up to a dozen! (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle, Portland, Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, and New York City are the others.)
And I’ve haven’t even told you about the race yet! It was a killer. Read the rest of this entry »
January 27, 2016
I woke up in Portland on Sunday with a very peculiar combination of feelings. I was still riding high with pride, thanks to my record-breaking performance during the Seattle Fight For Air Climb just 24 hours earlier. I was was also sore, achy and stiff, also thanks to that Seattle race, because racing up 160 stories is, to put it mildly, difficult. Then, when I flung open the curtains in my hotel room and saw the race venue right across the street, I started feeling really, really nervous.
The US Bancorp Tower (which the locals call ‘Big Pink’) is about the Read the rest of this entry »
January 26, 2016
WHAT. A. WEEKEND. You wouldn’t guess it from the pain and misery on my face in this first photo, but this weekend delivered outrageous amounts of happiness. I wouldn’t be surprised if my blood was currently comprised of red and white blood cells, plasma, platelets, and PRIDE.
You may already know the headlines if you follow me on social media (find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), but here’s the nutshell: Read the rest of this entry »
January 15, 2016
Six years ago this month, I weighed 402 pounds.
Six years ago this month, Richard Simmons reached out to me, after meeting me in person only a couple hours before, and offered to help me lose weight.
Six years ago this month, and after 2 or 3 weeks of hemming and hawing, I took Richard up on his offer.
It’s been six long years that I’ve been working hard to get my health under control, and the end result still astounds me: I’ve lost 160 pounds and kept it off!
Left: Me in 2007. Right: December 2015, at the Hike the Halo race.
I’m so proud of Read the rest of this entry »