‘Elevators are for wimps:’ Climbing stairs for charity

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The world’s tallest stair master.

The west’s tallest stairmaster

You haven’t really lived until you’ve climbed the tallest building west of the Mississippi. With 3500 of your closest friends. All glorious 75 stories… 1679 steps.

I’m so excited to be participating in the YMCA Stair Climb again Friday–and to get that transcendent feeling you get as you climb higher and higher on the utility stairs of the US Bank Building, aka Library Tower. Then, there’s the unbeatable view of our fair city you are rewarded with when you reach the top.

Some people care about their climb time; firefighters in their gear alongside Type-A athletes from nearby offices and investment banks are devoted participants. One year, a guy far older than me rocketed past me to the top, as if to say, “You thought I looked old?”

Me, I just do it for the fun, tortoise-like. And to help out the YMCA, for its biggest annual fundraiser. And there’s a party on the streets afterward to celebrate. But the best reason to do this is to say you can, and know that you did.

Living in a 19-story apartment building helps me prep year-round, but for the last few months, would-be climbers have been gathering at the Y for group practice “climbs” in shorter downtown buildings in order to train for the big day.

The online registration for this year’s climb has passed, but you can still show up early Friday with $150 and do the climb. Here’s all the info.  Now, I’m off to carbo load. (More pics from last year’s climb are below)

In case your inner coach doesn’t work, messages designed by kids root you on.
Your reward: The view