Climbing For A Cause

Climbing 760 steps. This is what the elevator was created .. so that man could avoid having to spend half his day trying to get to the top floor of a building. However, those 760 steps at downtown Pittsburgh’s Gulf Tower are what stand between us and perhaps a cure for lung cancer.

This Saturday, folks here at WTAE like Ashley DiParlo, Michelle Wright and myself with be joined by many folks as we take on the challenge of the Gulf Tower steps in an event called “Climb Pittsburgh II”. It’s the sequel to last year’s “Climb Pittsburgh” at the Oxford Center downtown. It benefits the American Lung Association and helps in both fund-raising and research in the battle against lung disease – the nation’s third leading killer.

This year, we have a few new twists. There are fewer steps to climb … and we also have members of the Pittsburgh Fire Department who will make the journey up the stairs to show just how important healthy lungs are when they are trying to do their jobs. Somehow, I was asked to join these brave men and women … and put on the gear and try to make the climb myself.

That’s me … in firefighter gear … minus the oxygen tank. In all, it’s about 60 pounds of equipment. Yes, it’s heavy and I doubt I will make it to the top by running. To be honest, I doubt I’ll make it period but it’s an honor to be able to wear the uniform if just for the day.

Usually, I don’t make pitches on my blog, but I think this is something that is not only important but also a personal challenge for all of you. I know most of you are saying there is no way you can make it … and I’m saying you can. Why not give it a try? If I can lug 60 pounds up 38 floors, you can try to make it all the way without any extra weight.

If you want to give it a try, the deadline to sign up is today. Just go to the climbpittsburgh website and sign up … and I hope to see you on Saturday. I’ll be the guy who doesn’t look like he belongs in the firefighters gear.

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