Stair Training Has Resumed…and I Really Need Your Advice

August 12, 2015

I had a very nice two-month hiatus from stairs, but now that’s over. I’m back in the stairwell! Training began last week. I’m not quite ready to share my entire fall racing schedule, but the first one will probably be the Stair Climb for Los Angeles, in the 75-story US Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles (more on that in a future post, but here’s my recap from last year’s race). One of the cool things about this race is that they arrange training sessions in a neighboring skyscraper, which is awesome, because the best place to train for a stair race is on stairs!


This is the Wells Fargo Center. It’s 55 stories tall.  Read the rest of this entry »

A New Training Personal Best?

February 13, 2015

Stair race season is in full swing. I’ve already raced twice this year, and my next race is soon, in Detroit! In April, I’ll be racing in the Aon Center in Los Angeles, and they open up the stairwell at certain times for training purposes. That’s how I ended up, the other day, on the 55th floor.


I was breathing too heavily to smile, because I had just Read the rest of this entry »

A New Training Stairwell (Not Really)

October 9, 2014

Problem: I have stair races coming up in a few weeks, starting with a climb to the 103rd floor of the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower in Chicago. I haven’t been in a stairwell since my last race, at the US Bank Tower, a few weeks ago. I need to train!

Solution: Time to find a skyscraper to train in! The other night, I did just that.


This is the Read the rest of this entry »

Race Recap: Stair Climb For Los Angeles 2014

September 22, 2014

At one point during the day on Friday, I collapsed onto the floor, and, for a few minutes, I couldn’t have gotten up to save my life.


Every muscle burned. My heart was pounding close to 170 beats per minute. I could have filled a bucket with the sweat dripping down my face and soaking my clothes.

This is what happens to me at the end of a stair race, and on Friday, I raced up the tallest building on the west coast. The building is 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 »

Weight Chart Update AND Underground “Before”/”Current” Photos!

April 25, 2012

The last time I weighed myself, two weeks ago, I had to give myself a big ole pep talk. And I needed it. And it worked! The past two weeks have been full of good choices and healthy eating. But I also had a major body part conspiring against me: my foot. After injuring it last week, I spent the better part of three days plopped on my couch, icing and elevating it. I did make it to the gym for some upper body workouts, but I also ended up having a couple more rest days than I had planned.

Given the circumstances, I’d quite happy with the results of yesterday’s weigh-in:

Maintaining my weight is a good thing. Nope, I’m wrong… it’s a GREAT thing.

Here’s another shot of my weight loss chart:

This morning I took a good long look at the first year of my chart, which I condensed, a few months ago, onto two pages. These two pages will always be a great motivator for me:

So, for everyone keeping score at home, maintaining my weight means I’ve still lost 162 pounds. And counting.


I was downtown a few days ago, and some friends and I went to lunch. We headed over to 505 Flower, which is an office tower that has an big underground shopping center beneath it. The shopping center is mostly restaurants and eateries, and I had a fantastic salad at a place called Salata, a Texas chain that opened their first California location last year.

As exciting as that salad was, what was more exciting was that it was my first time at 505 Flower in about three years, and I had the chance to update a “Before” picture!

505 Flower has these glowing yellow and blue walls near their escalators, and, truth be told, they’re kinda cool and kinda hideous at the same time. Three years ago, I got a picture with my friend Heather in front of the wall, and it’s a terrible photo. It was taken at 1am, and there’s nothing I like about it, and that what makes it a perfect ‘Before’ photo!

You can see the version with Heather (and a more recent picture with Heather, who has lost 50 pounds, by clicking on Photo Gallery – there are lots of ‘Before’ and ‘Current’ photos there).

And here I am, just a few days ago, in front of the very same wall:

Pretty. Effin’. Sweet.

A note to anyone who finds themselves at 505 Flower: as tempting as that glowing wall may seem, it’s a really tough background for a Kodak moment. My friend Maya took the above picture, and she took about 15 just so I could have one that turned out semi-decently. I have a hunch that not many people will look good in front of that shade of glowing yellow. But if you’re in downtown LA, I invite you to go and prove me wrong!

I actually LOVE another picture that Maya got of me – full silhouette!

This picture makes me want to shout GO BLUE! – and if you’re a fellow University of Michigan alum or fan, than you’ll know why.


PS: Tomorrow’s the deadline to enter my giveaway to win a $68 fresh fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements. Have you entered yet?


I’m a Dancing Machine

January 25, 2012

Last weekend, I got a call from my friend Tavi, inviting me to go dancing. I haven’t been dancing in years – I probably haven’t gone dancing since I moved to Los Angeles, and that was nearly ten years ago!

In college, I went out dancing all the time – almost every week. There’s a nightclub in Ann Arbor, Michigan (where I went to school) called Nectarine, and Friday nights were (and I presume still are) gay nights. The first few times I went, I was painfully self-conscious and uncomfortable. I felt that, as one of the biggest people in the room (if not the biggest), all eyes were on me, and not in a good way. But I kept going, always with good friends, and slowly the self-consciousness subsided and I started having a really good time. Nectarine is where I saw my first drag show – and my second, third, fourth, and so on, because they would host one every month.

When I moved out to Los Angeles, my interest in dancing waned significantly. I was intimidated – it may sound silly, but I thought there was a big difference between big city nightclubs and the one in my college town, and I didn’t think I was ready. It took me a little while to settle into Los Angeles, generally speaking – learning the landscape, finding a job, making friends, and all while staying with my aunt and uncle 45 minutes outside of town until I got my feet planted. I started establishing my life without going out to nightclubs, and I didn’t miss it. I certainly didn’t miss the self-consciousness that would have gone along with stepping into a new club scene.

So when Tavi called with the nightclub invitation, I was excited to go. I knew I wouldn’t feel self-conscious, and the good Nectarine memories far outweighed the bad. That night, I met up with Tavi, his boyfriend Antonio, and Antonio’s roommate, Brian, and we headed out.

The club we were headed to was called Club Mayan, and the evening was built around the fact that Antonio was working there that night as a go-go dancer. Club Mayan is housed within a huge old gutted theater in downtown Los Angeles that is fabulously and elaborately decorated in the style of a Mayan temple. We wandered in, and all I could think about was how fun this place would have been in its heyday, before they ripped out all the seats and slapped slapped multiple coats of paint on every surface. I snapped a couple pictures – the first is the exterior, the second is the lobby, but they don’t do the place justice:

I looked up the history of the Mayan, and, like a lot of old theaters, it has a long and fascinating history. It opened in 1927 as a Broadway-style venue for musical comedies, and then it became a movie theater. In the ’40, it was a burlesque house (it’s rumored that Marilyn Monroe performed there), and in the ’50 and ’60s, it showed Mexican and Latin American films. Then, in the ’70s, new owners turned it into an adult film theater (they even filmed some of the porno scenes in the basement), and in the late ’70s, the space was subdivided into three adult film theaters. In 1990, it was converted back into one big space and transformed into a nightclub.

It was a fun evening – except for the part where they didn’t think Tavi was wearing nice enough shoes and wouldn’t let him in (it was bullshit), so he and I had to go all the way back to Tavi’s house to grab a new pair. I wouldn’t say that the Club Mayan was my scene (but I probably can’t claim to have a scene, as I haven’t been dancing in 10 years, right?), but anything is fun when you’re with good friends. Antonio was one of five go-go dancers that rotated between a couple elevated platforms, and holy crap, Antonio is jacked. He could be covered in gray paint and stuck in the antiquities wing of any museum alongside the other Greek God sculptures. Seriously. His muscles have muscles.

Oh, and we danced! We were on the dance floor for well over an hour. The music was pretty good, and I definitely broke a sweat. I slept well that night, and I’m glad I did, because less than 12 hours after leaving the club, I was dancing again…

…in Richard Simmons’ aerobics class. The theme for that class was country music, and Richard was wearing a tank top and shorts fashioned entirely out of bandannas. Wanna see? Here’s the video from that day’s class. Keep a look out for me – I’m not sure there’s anyone lingering footage of me, but I only half paid attention while watching:

Richard’s class is around 90 minutes long, and I’d guess I danced for that long at Club Mayan… so 3 hours of dancing in a 12-hour period?

Keep it up, David!