The Day Before Climbing The Willis Tower

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 mushy handmade pizza dough that had been kneaded before going into the oven. The kid was baffled that the bike couldn’t handle the beating and moments later I saw the bike flipped on the seat while he slowly came to the realization that this bike was inoperable. Moments later, I heard a loud “woosh” and it was another boy who flew off the stage down a bunch of steps – followed by, “That was awesome!!”

I was having so much fun watching them I didn’t even realize that I had done 6,300 steps, my personal best. It was also a flashback to my childhood. That time of curiosity, boundless energy, and determination.

I will take mental notes of my journey but I also hope I get distracted as the encouraging wind of my honor roll gently prods me up the steps and I’ll exclaim, “That was awesome!!”

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Posted on November 2, 2013, in Rant, Rave and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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