Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rise to the Occasion

This past Sunday, I participated in the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago's "Hustle Up the Hancock." This is an annual fundraising event for the foundation, where 4,000 participants climb their way up 94 flights of stairs to the Observatory deck in the Hancock Building.

Let's just be totally clear how high that is. We're talking about a 1,000ft vertical climb. That's 1,632 stairs. The oldest climber was 85(!!!), and the youngest was 6 years old. And what did YOU do with your Sunday?!

It was a pretty outstanding event. It's so empowering to see so many people coming together for a great cause. This event usually raises over $1,000,000 each year. There were people climbing who had lung transplants, as well as people climbing in memory of loved ones lost to respiratory disease.

The times ranged all over the place - fastest time this year was by a 40 year old man who ran it in 10:03. Let's be hones,t he's crazy.

And as for yours truly? I really didn't train specifically for the event, but I managed to put up a very respectable time of 20:14, and even managed to pass people along the way. When I began to climb, I had a fleeting thought that I'd never be able to make it to the top - the flights of stairs are largest at the bottom, and each flight was 20 stairs. But once I got a good, steady pace going, I charged on, and felt good when I was done.

What was more surprising (and encouraging) to me was that I wasn't sore the next day, either. I felt great. Looks like all this working out is getting me somewhere.

After my very early climb (6:45a, first wave), I made my way up to the observatory to watch the sun rise over Chicago and prepare for my day as a medical volunteer. We were prepared for the worst (as always), but it didn't come our way. Luckily, we only saw people with minor issues - lightheadedness that resolved, nausea, didn't eat breakfast that morning. I was glad to see that the event went off so smoothly.

Lots of marathon talk at Hustle Up the Hancock - both from the medical staffing point of view, and due to the large overlap in participants. Finding more people who are doing the race - many for the first time - and many of whom I'll be bugging to go running with me.

On the weight-loss front... well, it's been a frustrating month. I don't much feel like belaboring it, but my weight-loss is slowing as I approach goal, and it's frustrating. It's even been accompanied by a few weeks of weight gained rather than lost, but really I'm just vacillating around the same numbers. I know this is a plateau and I know that I will get through it ultimately because I'm doing all the right things. I just need to dig down deep and find the willpower to stay the course through this persistently annoying time. My ultimate goal is to have a normal BMI. But, as my ever-intelligent mother pointed out, BMI isn't always the best measurement for muscular people - and while I'm not exactly jacked, my muscle mass is way up from what it used to be, and I have to take that into account. Despite my losses being less than I'd like, things now fit me that never did before, and I'm noticing changes in my appearance. I think I need to let go of the scale a bit and try to see the forrest through the trees.

But now? It's March. And I'm gonna own March. Here's to a month of successes!

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