Doing laps in the LA Fishbowl

Stairway to Heaven… or Heaving

75 floors. 1700 steps. The tallest building west of the Mississippi. Guess what I’m going to be climbing up on September 28th?

Did you guess the U.S. Bank Building?
You are kee-rect!

I’m going to be a part of the 2012 Stair Climb for the Ketchum-Downtown YMCA. It’s an annual fundraiser for their inner-city programs. They do a lot of good for kids & families: after-school programs, summer camps, affordable preschool and daycare, teen counseling… I’ve been a member of the Y for quite a few years, and I’ve always been intrigued by the Stair Climb Challenge.

I had a bucket tear!

It’s actually pretty amazing that I’m stepping foot on those stairs at all. Around 2008 I was jogging barefoot on the beach and rrrip went my right meniscus (that little colloidal cushion under your knee). Knee surgery followed. I asked the surgeon what I could do post-op. He suggested leg lifts, say, 50 a day.
“For how long?” I inquired.
“Oh, for the rest of your life.”
“Anything else?”
“Hmmm… no.”

Luckily I found an amazing physical therapist (Derek Plonka, Insight Physical Therapy in Santa Monica) who gave me a wee bit more to work with than that. Through a regimen of icing and strengthening exercises he got me back on track.

Then the other meniscus tore. This time, I opted for no surgery, only physical therapy.

After a year, I was solid on my two feet.

And then my back went out. Bulging lumbar disc. Back to Derek.


“Let me sample that creme anglais
one more time, okay?”

After two years of timid exercise and overzealous baking classes, things were getting, let us say, out of proportion.

I needed a change, so I swallowed the “Results and Recovery” Kool-Aid of P90X guru Tony Horton. Surprise surprise, with his exercise programs I achieved both results and recovery! All the dread plyometric exercises made my leg muscles stronger than ever, and my knees feel protected and safe. Awwww….

Before THAT all goes south (really, I’m just two lemon meringue pies and a Bûche Nöel away from disaster) I thought I’d give myself a challenge and go stepping for a cause. I’ve been running up and down the stairs across the street from where I live, and just last week I trained with the Hollywood Y up and down the CNN building–15 floors five times. I made it!

But I need your help. I’m part of a grand team: author Sally Nemeth (who, as a veteran of these climbs, is the Van Helsing of our group), voice-over goddess Kari Wahlgren, and housekeeper extraordinaire Nubia Avendaño. We call ourselves TEAM TURTLE. Slow and steady! Slow and steady! Our team has to raise $500, and we’d like to get it to $700 by the generosity of our friends. Could you throw a few bones our way to give us incentive? Go to my pledge page, it’s really easy. Any amount will help.

Thanks so much.

Update: Due to the incredible and RAPID generosity of a few people, we’ve blown past our goal and have moved the goalposts (is that a thing? ) up to $1000. Thank you thank you!

August 26th, 2012 - Still Life Las Vegas


2 responses to “Stairway to Heaven… or Heaving”

  1. […] I thought I’d test my endurance. It’s kind of the same reason why I’m climbing 75 flights of stairs later this month (there’s still time to donate, by the way). Tangaryo is like a meditation marathon. I’m […]

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