Forgive me if I am out of breath as I write this blog entry. Just writing it reminds of last year’s “Climb For Air” for the American Lung Association at the Gulf Tower. The task seems both simple and insane: Climb 37 flights of stairs at the downtown office building as fast as you can.
Pittsburgh’s Gulf Tower: The place for Saturday’s unique athletic and fund-raising challenge.
However, the purpose is not about setting a new personal best time. It’s about raising funds for the American Lung Association and realizing just how important lung health is. As you go higher and higher, you begin to understand that. No matter how good or bad shape I am in, I always find myself at the finish barely being able to breathe while coughing uncontrollably. Your legs burn, Your ankles ache and you go from a modest sprint in the first few floors to a slow crawl where the railing becomes your friend.
The Fight For Air also draws local fire companies. Giving them a chance to practice for the real-life challenge of climbing stars during an emergency.
For some, this is an athletic challenge. For others, it to raise awareness and to run for those who cannot. It’s also the biggest fund-raiser for the American Lung Association. It grew from modest roots. I remember the first time we did this in the Oxford Center — 5 years and 44 flights ago. We didn’t have a large group, but we were enthusiastic. This year, with over 200 people involved, it may take us longer to get everyone across the start line than to actually run the 37 floors.
Nothing beats that feeling going up the final set of steps … the feeling of accomplishment!
It’s also rare to have this chance to run that many steps in a skyscraper in a major city, so it brings out the competitive athlete from outside Pittsburgh as well. We will have people of all ages … and perhaps you will consider joining us on Saturday, March 19th. It’s a great way to start your day … and make someone else’s day as well.
Here’s the link.
Come join us as we fight for air … so others won’t have to.