Yesterday, November 11, was a long day. I had Tricia's 9th birthday party. I had to have it in the evening because of her basketball schedule. I had 24 kids over at my house from 4:30-7:30 and then some family and friends visited for awhile. Towards the end of the night I was worried because my back started hurting and I had my Sears Tower climb in the morning. I took some medicine, prayed and headed to bed.
I woke up around 6:30 this morning. My start time for the climb was between 9:20-9:30. They were starting people every 7 seconds. I was feeling really sick when I woke up. My best buddy Darlene came with me to the event even though she couldn't climb with me. She drove and I was able to recline my seat and relax. I felt like I was going to throw up the whole way there.
We arrived in good time and parked in a parking garage and headed into the Sears Tower. I looked up and saw what you see in the picture above and thought to myself, "What did I get myself into?" I was a little overwhelmed, but excited at the same time.
We got inside. I checked in. My stomach was still hurting, but now I was excited. I said bye to Darlene and got in line for the climb. I stretched out and waited. It didn't take long for me to get to the door. I started and by floor 12 I couldn't remember why I thought this had been a good idea in the first place. I was told that there would be water every 10 floors, but there was no water to be found, so I started to worry a little. It ends up the first water station was at floor 22 and then from there on out it was every 10 floors. By floor 30 I knew I was going to be able to make it. Having the water stations every 10 floors was great. I just kept my focus on the 10 floor goals and before you know it I was half way at floor 53. I couldn't believe I had made that far. All the volunteers were great and they really were encouraging when you stopped to take a little break. I stopped at each of the water stations to bring my heart rate back down and that is what helped me be able to do it.
There were people of all shapes and sizes. There was a baby in a backpack carrier. I saw her before the climb started and I saw her pacifier on one of the stairs on my way up. There were lots of kids with their parents. It was neat to see all the different types of people out for such a good cause.
The one thing that grossed me out was that people were spitting in the stairwell. Somewhere between floor 80-90 I finally said something to a guy. He spit some big old spit right in the middle of the stairway where I was walking behind him and I said, "EWW, that was lovely." He said, "I'm sorry" and I said, "tell the person that has to clean it up not me." He didn't really say anything after that, but I had made my point.
Between floor 50-60 I was thinking about my Mom, who will be gone 10 years on Christmas Morning. I was thinking about the people I know that are affected by cancer. I have some friends going through some tough times right now. I did this climb for them, in honor of my Mom and to encourage people of all sizes to get active, so they don't risk the chance of dying young. I hope that I can make a difference and show people that no matter what your size you can do anything you put your mind to. I spent those 10 floors praying and then I started to get teary eyed, so I had to stop because I knew I couldn't climb and cry. I wore a bandana that said on the front, "Going Vertical for my Mom 1943-1996" On the top it said, "Mom, I miss you."
It was really a good day and I encourage any of you in the Chicago area to do this event next year. There is also a climb in the John Hancock builing in Febuary, but it is already sold out.
Thank you to everyone for your emotional support as I took on this challenge and thank you for your donations to a good cause. Counting my $75 entry fee I raised $315.00. Parker called me this morning while I was driving to the climb and asked me if it was to late for him to sponsor me. I told him I could give them money and he could pay me back, so he sponsored me for $5 out of his own money. That meant so much to me.
I will post pictures as soon as I get my camera developed. Thank you again for all your support.
PS. I forgot to tell you I did the climb in 1 hour and 27 minutes. Go Me!! The guy who came up first did the whole climb in 13 minutes.