The day started with the Rocky III theme, “Eye of the Tiger” blaring through my brain. I bounced to the train to keep my date with some stairs up the Willis Tower. CUT! My neck knotted up! Are you kidding me? I spent the majority of the train ride manipulating my neck so I could at least turn it. As I got off the train, an older gentleman stepped on the back of my shoe, nearly thrwarting my ambition even before I reached my destination. Then, when I got to the Tower, a cart full of food almost took me out. But, despite the obstacles that tried to vanquish me, I was still standing. It’s game time and
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Tomorrow, I take on the beast known as the WIllis Tower. It’s 2,109 steps, 103 floors and 1,353 feet above the ground. Whenever people hear that I am doing Skyrise Chicago 2013, they picture me scaling the building like Spiderman or should I say Spider-Dan ala Dan Goodwin. Whatever happened to that guy who donned a Spiderman outfit and had suction cups for hands in the early 80s? But I digress.
My fundraising efforts have paid off (get it) and I’m delighted to say that the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago will see an impressive increase from Team Support Lauren over last year. I’m giddy with gratitude! My Facebook family has really stepped it up (oops, another pun) as well as the inner circle of people I can overload with spirited “give me your money” emails, who are really good-natured about it and supportive.
My training efforts had me climbing up and down a bunch of stairs at an outside venue with Lake Michigan as the backdrop. On the weekends, I shared the stairs with fellow exercise enthusiasts. I saw one guy who was probably in his 70s. He was taking two steps at a time and jumping up them. I was impressed.
I also saw a quartet of pre-teen boys jumping off the high stone walls at the top of the stadium. It was like a cut scene from the early 80s movie, “The Outsiders” – with their younger siblings, of course. Whatever happened to C. Thomas Howell? Again I digress.
At one point, one of the boys declared that they should take their bikes down the stairs to the stage and ride in circles. The grandma who was overseeing this scene didn’t think it was such a good idea. I heard this loud thump after thump as the frame of the ring leader’s bike got smashed with each step and the rims got trashed! He wasn’t carrying it down the stairs, he was almost pushing it down the stairs. Toward the bottom of the stadium, it was as if the bike had morphed into a dying horse as it spouted its last cough before its final collapse, teetering to the side.
The wheels were no longer round but misshapen like Read the rest of this entry
A frequent adventure during my childhood was visiting this big mansion – this house was huge by our family’s standards. It was the biggest house where we actually knew the people who lived there. The mom and dad who lived inside with their three sons became fixtures in our lives.
The two dads played tennis together on a regular basis. Our families spent many holidays together, often camping and cross-country skiing.
Upon arrival at the mansion, the two fathers would disappear into a room and watch football while I hung out with the two mothers (who would be besties for life) in the kitchen. We nibbled on onion dip and potato chips as I held my doll. The mother with the long black hair tied into a single braid in back would smile at me as she shook her head: Read the rest of this entry
A couple of months ago, Rich Cohen, a New York Times best-selling author put me on his “read my latest book before everyone else does” list. This inclusion was very exciting for me because it gives me the needed edge and confidence to promote it on my blog.
I have many of Rich’s books in my personal library and I find them to be good reads. They also make wonderful gifts.
Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football. As the title above indicates, his latest book is about Read the rest of this entry
Some of the best moments of laughter, for me, are when I am not expecting it and out of nowhere I get sucked in by something really witty and laugh for a long time. It’s therapeutic.
Last night I was catching up on the family sitcom, See Dad Run. Full disclosure, I watch this show because my brother writes for it. Being the ever devoted sister, I was multi-tasking so I wasn’t completely paying attention but then I had to hit rewind because I was drawn in because I realized Scott Baio was singing!
It’s just a Read the rest of this entry
Years ago, in the early 1990s, I had a deep water phobia so I took three cruises in a year-in-a-half. For the first cruise, I went with my two best friends from college. One evening, we went exploring and came across a dancing contest. The movie, Dirty Dancing, was all the rage back then.
People looked at me and I was typecast. (like the time I was cast at the “little old woman” as a four-year-old because of the glasses ). But this time I was thrown on stage because I looked like Jennifer Gray.
While I loved the movie, I could not dance. This was a dancing contest so I had major concerns.
I was pushed onto stage with Heinz from Switzerland. A blond-haired blue-eyed John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever in the making.
His sexy accent and Read the rest of this entry
Dear Voracious Fan Base of me, myself, and I:
Apologies for the delay in correspondence, I have been pre-occupied but today’s daily prompt inspired me because I only have to mention the third line of the last song I heard and make it the post title and then rant for 15 minutes.
THAT, I can do! So, thanks to Maroon 5 for invading my brain with “Love Somebody”, but I digress.
During the last couple of weeks, I have seen posts on Facebook of adorable children with a sign reading, “First Day of (please fill in the blank). It’s back to school already, hard to believe.
Back in the day before technology spoiled us, we didn’t have 10,000 photos of us by the age we were two. Not even for the first child! We had that old-fashioned camera where one had to put film in it, shoot the entire roll, and then transport the film to the drug store and wait a few days to have them developed and it was pretty expensive!
The anticipation was awesome and having any redeemable photos became treasures representing a snippet of a precious moment in time.
Our expectations were very low. In fact, if one got a good shot, it was a major surprise. One would have pinky prints on the picture or unexpected views of feet or bodies without heads.
They could be blurry or they could be full of shadows with a fabulous background.
One would shoot the photo and have no clue if the photo was any good and perhaps a couple of years later, the roll of film would get developed and one would be treated to a fabulous flashback of a lifetime milestone that got lost in a drawer somewhere.
Technology has made it a no-brainer to capture events such as the first day of school. No more waiting until the roll is finished to have the satisfaction of knowing if a photograph turned out. Back then, photos would be taken and developed – whether you were ready or not! It was kind of charming! Think of all of the photos we threw away because they were of poor quality!
So, while everyone was all giddy over the shots of their kids back to school, I dug into the photo albums I absconded from my childhood bedroom at my house and found
And that’s taking the stairs, not the elevator!
Last year I climbed 2,109 stairs/103 flights to the skydeck of the Willis Tower in Chicago. I had five weeks to train and I made it up all of the steps with a collection of fabulous firemen waiting to be in photos with me. Could be worse! Exhilarating! Exhausting! Here’s a flashback to last year’s climb.
It’s hard to believe that it’s time for me to start thinking about this climb again. Especially since I feel like I JUST caught my breath. This year, I have a little less than three months to train. Not quite as much pressure but I obviously want to beat last year’s time and raise more money for Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.