The Climb of My Life

On January 7, 2005, at the age of 80, my father died of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). This was brought on by pneumonia. He spent the last few days of his life on a ventilator. My father also suffered from Parkinson’s Disease which unfortunately hindered his ability to walk for the last few years of his life. Soooo…. I have officially registered for the Philadelphia Fight For Air Climb! I’ll be climbing 50 flights of stairs to raise money and awareness for lung disease. Yes, you read that correctly- 50 FLIGHTS of stairs. Clearly, I don’t have enough excitement in my life. Clearly. But I’m exercising my lungs and my legs in memory of my Dad. 🙂

Here’s a clip from the 2011 Climb:

I haven’t committed to doing any physically demanding feats since I finished the Philly Marathon back in 2004. That was brutal! But I’m ready to get back into the swing of things (a little). This Climb should whip me back into shape (and prayerfully, it will be far less damaging to my knees than the Marathon, and it certainly shouldn’t take me a lifetime to finish)! The competition is on Saturday, 3/24/2012 which gives me exactly 11 weeks to get my butt (and legs and lungs) prepared. And I must say, I’m more excited about running up 50 flights of stairs than I am about training to run up 50 flights of stairs. Check out the training program I got from Coach Reymond of The Healthy Push:

“Begin every workout with a hip mobility drill and a dynamic warmup… Switch days in/out of the gym by spending 2-3 days working that lower half with weighted lunges, air squats, and presses at a high intensity effort for 20 minutes non-stop. Back it up on a steep treadmill climb/walk/run or stair-master for another 20 minutes. Spend the other 2-3 days running stadiums, climbing stairs, and doing fast paced hill sprints (all exercises with a weighted backpack) for 20-30 minute sessions at a 175 bpm heart rate effort (hard effort).”

Heaven help me.

I’m no math major, but that’s 4-6 days of training per week! Have I mentioned that I don’t work out in the Winter? I freeze my gym membership from November through March. Yes, I plan my slackability. 😛

I did manage to run up the Art Museum steps this morning as a kick off to my climbing endeavor. Had myself a little Rocky moment. 😀

According to Coach, I’ll have buns of steel and legs like a stallion when all is said and done. So, that of course makes the preparation worth the pain. 🙂

Aside from vain glory, and in memory of my Dad, I will climb:

    • To become a better steward of my Temple. When it comes to working out, I’m rather lazy. If I don’t have a goal to work towards, I’ll just hang out in my lazy little comfort zone- neglecting to properly care for the body God entrusted to me. Have I mentioned that I hate working out? With a passion, I might add. So, this Stair Climb is a great way for me to get in shape, take better care of myself, and be proactive about my personal fitness.
    • To raise money and awareness for really good causes: lung disease (lung cancer, asthma, COPD, ARDS, etc.), fight against pollution, smoking cessation programs,etc.
    • Because a dear friend of mine died last year of lung cancer- at the age of 36.
    • For those who can’t breathe on their own.
    • Because I can.

Lung health and awareness is so incredibly important because:

    • Lung disease is the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. and it’s responsible for one in seven deaths.
    • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.
    • COPD currently affects 10.2 million Americans.
    • Air Pollution poisons the lungs of over 60% of Americans each day. How scary is that?
    • ARDS affects approximately 190,000 Americans annually and up to 30% of cases can be fatal (like my Dad’s).

That’s why this is the climb of my life- and maybe even yours. The fundraising goal for the  2012 Philadelphia Fight for Air Climb is $135,000. Each participant is required to raise at least $100. I want to raise at least $500. If you would like to help me reach my goal and join the fight for air, please make your tax-deductible donation via my personal page on The American Lung Association’s website. I’m listed under Daddy’s Girl. Anything you give is greatly appreciated. Together, we can help others breathe a little easier. 🙂

Practically Yours,

~Mz. Practicality

P.S. Call (800) LUNG-USA or check out for great resources to help you quit smoking, understand the warning signs of lung disease, learn how to protect your lungs, and more! And hey, why not check to see if there’s a Stair Climb in your area? 😉

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