it's the climb

So I found this picture yesterday:

Why do I look so out of breath? Oh, I don't know. I was climbing the stairs of 801 Grand, the tallest building in Iowa. No biggie. I was participating in the American Lung Association's 801 Grand Power Climb a couple of years ago, which raises money for the ALA. I seriously didn't think it was going to be too hard. I was semi-in shape. I did cardio. I knew climbing 45 stories would be kind of a challenge, but I had no idea it was going to hit me like it did. 

I started a slow but steady semi-jog up the first few floors. By the time I got to the 3rd floor my quads were already burning and I was starting to lose my breath. I would spend the next 42 floors trying to catch my breath. Even though it was only around 10 minutes of my life, it was hell! I was breathing so hard from about floor 20 on I felt like I was going to pass out! I've NEVER been that out of breath. And I was walking up the stairs. 

The cold, dry, February air didn't help breathing at all. And to think, before I started climbing, there was a class of people who went for a straight hour to the top as many times as they could. There was a fireman in full gear who did the climb multiple times. And a blind man! 

By the time I got to the top I was barely conscious, fully expecting to pass out.  They handed me a medal and I immediately looked for somewhere to sit. I could hear everyone hacking around me as if they'd been life long smokers. Thank you, American Lung Association for tearing apart my lungs. Thankfully, I've never smoked a thing in my life and have a very good set. 

Why am I even writing about this? Because it was a kick-ass accomplishment, that's why. I went outside of my comfort zone and tried something new and challenging. It kicked my butt but I can say I did it. And I raised a bunch of money for a good cause. 

You see that tall building in the skyline? Yeah I've been to the top. And not in an elevator. 

  • What have you done to push yourself recently?
  • Is there something big you've always wanted to accomplish but haven't been brave enough to try?
  • Name a time you did something challenging for a good cause.


  1. That is AWESOME!!! Very inspirational :)

  2. I did that this past Feb in honor of my mom. I had no idea it was going to be that hard either! It was sort of neat (in a way) because while I was climbing I realized that is how my mom felt constantly -- always fighting for air.

    it is crazy to look at the building and to know you got to the top by way of the stairs!

  3. just LOOKING at this picture makes my lungs hurt!

  4. I was actually thinking of you and this picture on Friday, part of my cardio challenge for the day was going up and down the 6 flights of stairs in the WF Building, 3 times. Not exactly the same scenario but this was already after being on a treadmill for 20 minutes at an incline and then after conquering the stairs riding an exercise bike for another 20 minutes on level 10! Yeesh! It was a cardio challenge indeed.
    Anyway as I was huffying and puffying up the stairs I thought of you doing this and wondered how you did it. :)

  5. Good on you! Great effort. Next stop Mount Everest?

    You've had a face lift since I was here last (your blog that is lol).

    Like it. A lot.