Doing laps in the LA Fishbowl

Stair Master

From the 7 floors of the outdoors stairs across the street from my house (12 reps) to the 14 floors of the CNN Building  in Hollywood (6 reps) to the 55 floors of the Wells Fargo Building (2 reps). Brown rice, power bars and (shudder) white chicken meat. It has all lead to this: my inaugural Ketchum-Downtown YMCA Stair Climb, up 1700 steps (75 floors) to the top of the U.S. Bank building! 
Nervous the whole day. Stretch now, or not to stretch now? What should I eat? When? Doug thought it was ridiculous to put so much energy into diet when it was only going to be about 30 minutes of exertion, but I wanted to indulge in the whole marathon vibe.   
Arrived downtown at 4. The place was packed, hordes of people in matching t-shirts, food trucks, a climbing wall, booths galore. A huge screen showed people entering the building, excited, and arriving at the top, considerably sweatier.
My team, the Turtles, were down one member (who landed a pilot) but Sally, Nubia and I were ready and rarin’ to go. We get into place at about 5:30. My sister Allison comes with her husband to cheer us on, and tapes us before:

I look up at the building we are about to enter. Are we CRAZY? I get dizzy just looking at it. 

They corral you down the plaza steps, and then one by one you face the doors of the building and a huge timer and then “GO!” you are pushed into the building. And up you go, fast, fast! And then, oh… so… slowly. All I can say is, thank God they were playing “Gangnam Style” before we got into the building, because that was all that was in my head the whole way up. “Hey… Sexy lady…” It’s a good pace.

People are moving at different speeds. There are crushed water cups in all the corners of the stairwell, like fall leaves. Kinda gross. I try not to be too pushy, but if you’ve seen me maneuvering past crowds at the Farmer’s Market, well, you can imagine.

And suddenly, I’m at floor 70. Only five more to go! You get your final burst of adrenaline and jog up to the roof. It’s pretty amazing.

Nubia, speed demon that she is, joins me two minutes later. We enjoy the view, then go down to the 71st floor for some bananas, water, and apples.

Sally, bad knees and all, arrives moments later, and we exult.

At the bottom, Allison catches us coming out.

We may sound cocky, but forty minutes later, on the way to the restaurant, I can barely walk up one flight of stairs. I eat the most delicious meal I’ve ever tasted in my LIFE, and then go home and pass out.

Not bad for an old man!

The best thing was– our team raised $1200 for the downtown Y! Thanks so much to all of you who chipped in; you made it all worth it.

So… what do I do now?

October 1st, 2012 - Still Life Las Vegas


2 responses to “Stair Master”

  1. Sally Nemeth says:

    It was fun. Next year I'd like to do it on new knees, thank you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    What'd you eat?

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