Pictures from Climb Pittsburgh II

Last week, I told you about a fun event in which Ashley, Michelle and myself would be taking part. Climb Pittsburgh II benefits the American Lung Association and it’s designed not only to raise money in the fight against lung disease, but also raise awareness.
Saturday morning, 150 folks joined us for the challenge of the year: climbing the 38 floors of the Gulf Tower in downtown Pittsburgh. While some were clearly dressed and prepped for the task at hand, I decided to join a special group of participants: Pittsburgh’s firefighters. They not only raise awareness of the disease, but also show us just how hard their work is.

Before the climb, I had a chance to interview this young woman. Her name is Skylar Hicks and she has asthma. However, she does not let it slow her down. Along with her parents, Skylar made it up to the 19th floor … and still wanted to keep going. Her performance was inspirational and made all the participants go the extra mile.

This is the aftermath of 38 floors. I’m in the background in the white t-shirt, next to my best friend Joe. In the foreground are the firefighters with whom I had the honor of joining. It was a pleasure to put on the gear ( all 50 pounds of it ) and try to scale 38 floors. While we set no speed records, we did make it.

Wondering what it takes to scale 38 floors?

It’s less about the shape you are in — and more about the stamina you have. Even the most experienced of athletes will feel a burning of the lungs in the first ten floors. It’s that burning of the lungs that is the goals of organizers. They want you to feel what asthma suffers feel on a daily basis .. and believe me, after having to deal with that feeling for 20-plus floors, I will never take my lungs for granted.

I will also never take for granted what the firefighters do. I wore the heavy equipment and made it 38 floors and nothing left by the time I reached the top. Imagine having to do that every day – and then, once reaching the top, you still have to save some one’s life. That’s why firefighters really are heroes.

Thanks to everyone who came out and joined us … and a special thanks to those who joined my team: Stockey’s Steppers. We kicked butt!!! See you next year at the USX Tower! ( just kidding ).

Here are some pics from a Super Saturday morning … and some commentary as well.


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