When it’s come to athletic endeavors, I’ve spent most of my life with an “I can’t” mentality. That’s the sort of thinking that accompanies morbid obesity, and I used to weigh over 400 pounds. Thoughts like “there’s no way I’m fit or strong enough to do XYZ” where pretty commonplace.
Now that I’ve lost around 160 pounds and kept it off for over five years, I love doing things that weren’t even a remote possibility when I was heavy. That part of the appeal of stair racing. It’s a brutally challenging sport, and I still get overwhelmed after a stair race with a wave of emotions, a mixture of shock, disbelief, and pride.
On Saturday, I competed in the San Diego TOWERthon, and it didn’t end with a wave of emotions. Instead, I was hit by a tsunami of empowering feelings that, days later, still has me choked up.
The TOWERthon is a beast of an event, where you are challenged to climb the stairs to the top of a 20-story building as many times as possible in two hours. That’s 120 minutes of nearly non-stop stair climbing – excluding elevator time to get back down – and if that sounds like a terrible way to spend a Saturday morning… well, I used to think that, too. Not anymore. Read the rest of this entry »