Getting an energy boost from tackling the tower

February 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm 1 comment

Although I recently started strength training in order to better tap into my energy, I’ve also been trying another new form of exercise – road races and other related adventures. I started with the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving (5 miles) and then did a 5K on New Year’s Eve. Both were a big energy and happiness boost! On Saturday, I did another race, but of a much different kind – climbing 28 flights of stairs in the Erieview Tower, near the Galleria in downtown Cleveland.

Oh yeah. You read that right.

First, there was really no running. At least after the first flight anyway. I bounded up the first flight and immediately got a reality check – there was actually no way you could run up all those stairs. So I began a quick climb, using the railing on either side as much as I could, going up as fast as possible, and trying not to think about how much my legs and chest hurt.

When I first re shifted my strategy, I thought I was so out of shape and would never finish. I also thought I would get passed by person after person. But they sent one person up every 10 seconds, and I never saw the person above or below me until the end. It was just so hard, nobody was able to go fast enough to catch up and pass the other person. So it turned out everyone had to climb the same way.

It was a strange experience, that’s for sure. It took me 7 minutes and 13 seconds. Kind of a short amount of time for a race that cost $15 plus getting there, waiting for it to begin, etc. Also, since it was indoors, in a dark, cold and dusty stairwell, my chest burned once I got to the top.

But, I did it. I was so scared while waiting to begin. Could I do it? Would I trip? Would I have to walk up slowly or take lots of breaks? Turns out thought I did pretty well – 6/56 in my age group. I did stop a couple times just for a few seconds, but other than that, went full speed ahead, mainly because I was scared that if I stopped I wouldn’t be able to get going again. And when I made it to the top, I was relieved and proud of myself.

What does this have to do with energy and happiness though? Well, pushing myself physically and succeeding is something I do get a real happiness boost from. Although I am nervous before hand, and self-doubt creeps in during the middle of a run or a climb up some stairs, once I finish I feel genuinely proud of myself and my body for doing it. It also keeps me going back to the gym or my running path to run, or whatever, some more. And beyond the normal benefits of exercise for both energy and happiness, trying something new, doing it with a bunch of other people, and, yes, pushing on when you think you’ll fall over, also energize me.

Another brief point is that I often don’t think I am physically capable of various things. I was never an athlete or anything – I danced, but only casually, so there wasn’t periods of intense physical training, and I really doubt my ability to this thing or that. One of those things was running a road race – even though I had run 5 miles before, I was so unsure about the Turkey Trot – and that’s why it took me so long to even consider doing a race. It does help when you know someone that you can run with – M’s sister in this case. And I was unbelievably happy when I finished that race with a respectable time, and it still makes me happy to think about it. Same with this one: I really wasn’t sure I could do it. But, I proved to myself that my body is strong in a lot of ways, and I can do things I push myself to do. I’ll take that energy and happiness boost any day!

I’m not sure I will ever do this climb again – such a short amount of time and, oh my goodness, that feeling in my chest was horrible – but I am so glad that I tried this different type of race, made it to the top, and did it pretty quickly, I might add.

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Entry filed under: Sustainable Energy.

Tapping into my energy Confession: Yesterday was a struggle.

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