April 26, 2017
I’m back from San Francisco, where, for the third year in a row, I competed in the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb. While three-peating here might make me a veteran, this year’s race was new, thanks to a change in venue. This race was held, for the first time, in 101 California, a glass skyscraper that reaches 48 stories into the sky.
101 California isn’t a landmark or a record-holder – it’s currently tied as the city’s 8th-tallest building. In fact, it’s best known as the site of a horrific tragedy Read the rest of this entry »
April 11, 2017
The 10th annual Los Angeles Fight For Air Climb was on Saturday, and I was ready to go. I even had my personal mantra written on my arm.
The ‘PR’ stands for personal record, and the ‘ER’ stands for emergency room. And since I had no intention of going to the ER, my only choice was to accomplish the personal record. And how would I do that? By climbing the third-tallest building in Los Angeles faster than I’ve ever climbed it before.
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April 6, 2017
The moment before I start a stair race, I’m calm, focused, and ready to go hard. Look – a professional photographer captured that moment!
Most of these races have an official photographer on hand, and a week or so afterward, you can Read the rest of this entry »
March 12, 2017
I take photos after all of my stair races, but this selfie, taken seconds after crossing the finish line and collapsing onto the carpet, really captures how thoroughly punishing and draining a stair race is. This is after one hour in the stairwell:
(A volunteer gave me the sponge, which had been soaking in ice water, and it really helped cool me down.)
The race was Climb Wyndham, the Fight For Air Climb put on by the American Lung Association of Illinois. You might think an Illinois-based stair climb would be in Chicago, which is quite literally the birthplace of the skyscraper. But you’d be wrong: Read the rest of this entry »
February 27, 2017
On Saturday morning, I raced up a 31-story stairwell SEVEN TIMES in one hour. That’s 217 stories in 60 minutes! Just typing those sentences summons twangs of disbelief, even though every syllable is true. The disbelief, though, is quickly overshadowed by more powerful feelings. Pride. Gratitude. Thrill. Come with me, I’ll walk you through that morning!
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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 »
April 12, 2016
No point in burying the lead: I set a personal record at the Fight For Air Climb in San Diego! Here I am, seconds after the race ended. On the outside, it looks like I’m exhausted and hurting…and I am. But believe me: my insides were bubbling with joy, excitement, and pride.
I’m especially happy with the results because I wasn’t sure if I could pull off a PR at this race, for a couple reasons. The first is that Read the rest of this entry »