July 27, 2010

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.

5 comments:

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

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  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!

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

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  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. :)

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  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.

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