Fitness: My Latest Challenge – Skyrise Chicago 2012

When it comes to exercise, like I mentioned in an earlier posting, I find it’s easier to keep motivated by continually setting up little challenges for myself. Well, my latest challenge is a big one and I’ve been training for it for months. On November 4, 2012, I am going to “Tower Up” and participate in the Skyrise Chicago 2012 to climb the 2,109 stairs at the Willis Tower in Chicago. (formerly known as the Sears Tower.) No, that’s not a typo. It’s 2,109 stairs to the top!! I get a little scared just thinking about it. :)

I was looking for an indoor challenge this time, as in the past we’ve done 5K races and I’ve frozen in 32 degree weather in November. This time, I’ll probably be sweating like crazy in the stairwells but this challenge is something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s a huge challenge and I may not make it to the top but I’m sure going to try.

Months ago, after I signed up for the tower climb, I found a little article in the May/June 2012 issue of Weight Watchers that had a schedule for training for a stair climb. You start off at just two minutes and work your way up to 30-45 minutes. I thought, two minutes… I can do that! My husband and I purchased a Sunny Folding Climbing Stepper which is actually a great climber for the price. It’s fairly small so it didn’t take up much space in our room. And then came the hard part….finding the motivation to start. Two minutes. You only start with two minutes. This is what I kept telling myself. I set a day to start training and when the time came there I sat saying, “I just don’t have time to workout today.” What?! Yeah, it was then that I learned a very important thing about myself and I don’t even want to admit it—I was all about excuses of “I don’t have time” when it comes to exercise. I didn’t really notice it so much before because I was trying to fit in 20-30 minute workouts and yeah, some days it’s hard to squeeze that time in. But two minutes? That’s about how long it takes to scoop up a bowl of ice cream. lol.

So I gave myself a little scolding and got up on that stair climber and huffed and puffed through the two minutes. I was a little sore the next day but when it came time for the second day of training, I did three minutes. And then four. And….well, you get the drift. Each time it became easier to tackle the previous time plus add another minute or two. I’m inching my way closer to that 30 minute mark and I have to almost chuckle at how two minutes seemed so painful that first time.

When we reached the 15 minute mark, I treated us to a little inspiration:

We purchased a Sears Tower Decal to hang in our room for added inspiration when we “climb.” As I climb I picture myself conquering one floor at a time.

Whether or not I reach the top is yet to be determined but I feel like no matter what happens, I’ve already won. I’ve discovered more about myself and I’ve kept myself pushing forward when I wanted to just be a “couch potato.” So while exercise may not feel like it can fit into your daily routine, just tell yourself, “Two minutes. Just two minutes.” and start there and add on another minute or two each time. You might just surprise yourself at what you can end up achieving, too!

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