For a number of years now (10 to be exact) the American Lung Association has organized and event called Climb for Air. I’ve heard about it for a couple of years and thought it was cool that they would be able to use one of the taller buildings in downtown Minneapolis for it. This is a fundraising event ending with each person climbing stairs for 31 stories. When I first heard that I questioned if I would be able to accomplish such a feat.
On Friday I heard of this event happening this year again and began to ponder if I should attempt climbing stairs for 31 floors to reach the top of one of the skyscrapers in Minneapolis. I’ve not been working on getting into trail condition as much as I should be so physically I’m not as prepared. Researching further 31 stories equates to about 680 steps. Once I saw that then there was little doubt if I could do this or not. There have been caves explored where I’ve climbed half that many stairs so I should be able to do this although this is just climbing up, up, up with limited breaks like a cave would have. After going back and forth I decided it would be a good new life experience for me as well as a worthwhile organization to support in honor of an uncle I lost due to lung cancer and signed up.
The next day I arrived at US Bank Plaza to begin my climb. Average climb times are listed as 10-15 minutes so I figured I should be able to do it 20 minutes taking my time as needed. They attached tracking tags to one of your shoes to keep track of how long it takes to climb and off I went stair after stair. I remember reaching the second floor and then the third. Before I realized it I was at the 16th floor – over half way. I stopped for a quick water break on the next floor and then there was the 19th floor. My legs were beginning to feel it a little but more so I was breathing pretty hard by this time.
Reaching the 22nd floor I tried to slow down a little for the next flight, took a few seconds to stretch tightening muscles a few times until reaching the 29th floor and decided a strong finish was how I wanted to end the climb. During this time I was thinking back to last summer’s climb of Long’s Peak and wondering how many steps I climbed for that. A few more than this I’m sure. Once getting to the top floor I was a little shocked it was done and kept walking back and forth on that floor to cool down while grabbing more water. After a few minutes I realized it took just over 6 minutes to climb 31 stories. Wow was it really that quick? It was an enjoyable experience and one I felt good doing. Marathons and bike races aren’t of much interest to me but this fits in well for me.