June 10, 2019
I want to introduce you to a firefighter named Thomas Schoales. He’s 27, and nicknamed “Golden Boy” because of his constant wide smile.
He’s part of a family of first responders – his father and two brothers all worked as firefighters or police officers. One day, he responded to an emergency situation 10 blocks from his firehouse, and ran into a building to help. Shortly after that, the building collapsed – 500,000 tons of steel, concrete, and glass crashing to the ground. Thomas was one of fourteen men from Engine 4 in lower Manhattan (and one of 343 total firefighters) that died on September 11, 2001. His body would not be found in the wreckage until over four months later.
On Sunday, I had the honor and privilege of clipping that photograph of Thomas “Golden Boy” Schoales to my collar and carrying him with me while I competed in the Tunnel to Towers Cleveland Tower Climb. Read the rest of this entry »
April 14, 2019
I’ve raced up stairwells all over the United States, and last year I raced up the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Earlier today, I competed in my second international race, at the iconic CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada!
Although it’s a completely different country, Toronto is only about a 4.5-hour drive from where I’m living in Read the rest of this entry »
March 4, 2019
When my alarm went off at 4:45am Saturday morning, the first thing I did was take a few deep breaths. This was going to be a day like none other I’ve experienced. I was going to push myself harder than ever before, in a challenge that would redefine what I’m capable of, what I could endure, and what I can rise above.
And it was all going to happen in this building, glowing in the pre-dawn darkness, just across the plaza from my Salt Lake City hotel room.
While short compared to towers in other cities, the Read the rest of this entry »
January 15, 2019
It was 5:05am when I arrived at the Reunion Tower in Dallas yesterday, underneath a swirl of dancing, colorful lights. I was here to compete, for the second time, in the hardest race I’ve ever done.
The Dallas Vert Mile had been on my calendar for months, but a pre-race knot formed in my stomach as I Read the rest of this entry »
October 22, 2018
When I arrived at the brand new Salesforce Tower in San Francisco yesterday, the top was still shrouded in fog. I took a breath and realized that soon I’ll be climbing to the top of a skyscraper that I can’t fully see!
I’m always excited by a stair race, but I take particular pleasure in Read the rest of this entry »
September 30, 2018
I didn’t think I was ready for a stair race. Not yet. It was only a few weeks ago that I was cleared to exercise again after recovering from my LASIK surgery, and getting back into shape has been challenging. And yet, on Friday, I pinned a bib to my shirt and looked up at the skyscraper housing the tallest stairwell west of the Mississippi. Gulp!
This was my sixth year racing at the Stair Climb for Los Angeles, a fundraiser benefiting the Downtown-Ketchum YMCA, so I knew what to expect: Read the rest of this entry »
August 29, 2018
If I had to describe my look in that photo, I’d say I was apprehensive. And that’s because it’s been months since I’ve trained in a skyscraper stairwell – since April – and I knew this workout was going to be a challenge. And it was. Read the rest of this entry »
June 3, 2018
How’s this for a triumphant post-race photo?
Me, on the roof of the tallest building in Ventura County, with nothing but blue sky in every direction. The truth is, though, that I wasn’t feeling triumphant at all. I had just competed in an extremely difficult race, and instead of feeling like I had conquered the stairwell, I felt like the stairs had conquered me. Read the rest of this entry »
May 14, 2018
On Saturday, my sister Sarah and I competed in The Lemon Climb Denver, a 43-story stair race to the top of a tall Colorado skyscraper.
You: Really? A stair race? I thought you were taking a break!
Me: I am taking a break. But the break, while necessary, was a spontaneous decision, and I had registered for this race months ago, accepted money from Read the rest of this entry »
April 23, 2018
Racing up stairs is challenging. That’s an understatement, actually. It’s excruciating difficult and ridiculously exhausting. Due to the intense nature of the sport, every single second counts. My goal, when I race up a building I’ve raced before, is simple: be faster than last time. On Saturday, I had another opportunity to reach that goal, and I only had to climb 1,029 steps to make it happen.
The race was Read the rest of this entry »