Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 7 - Step Up

I decided to participate in the "Kohl's Step Up for Kids" charity event stair climb because first and foremost, it's for a great cause. But since this blog is about doing one thing every day that scares me, I must admit I picked this particular event to participate in because I am afraid of stairs. OK, let me explain. I am not paralyzed in fear if I see stairs, but I've had numerous bad experiences on them or because of them to justify avoidance. Today should I need to take a flight of stairs up or down, you can rest assured that I am "white-knuckling" the hand rail the entire way.

Flashback to a time when Coke was just a beverage and it came in glass bottles. If you're old enough to remember, these glass bottles once emptied, could then be recycled and returned to the store for a partial refund of the purchase price. Being frugal, my family used to participate in this recycling effort and as such, we would store our empty bottles in our basement until we accumulated a batch or two to return to the store. Enter clumsy child, glass bottle and a missed step. Result? Said child (me) at the bottom of the stairs on stomach, broken glass and blood everywhere. My hand was severely cut on the glass as in my fall, I refused to let go of the bottle.

Fall number two came years later. My twenties allowed me to take a trip down the last 5 steps of the same staircase mentioned above. This fall resulted with me splayed on the floor in the Superman flying position. During my descent, I hit my left leg on the steps and ended up with bone-breaking pain that was diagnosed as a subdural-hematoma. The bruising and swelling lasted well over a year, and has permanently left my leg discolored in some spots. Sexy, huh?

Finally, in a previous effort to tackle my stair fear, I began training in 2009 on the Stair Master machine (known in most gyms as "The Beast") with hopes of participating in the "Hustle Up the Hancock" event held annually in Chicago. After a month or so of training on the machine, and actually reaching my goal of 96+ floors numerous times, I dislocated my knee which prevented me from participating in the event. While the injury did not actually take place on a set of stairs or on the Stair Master, I blame the dislocation whether I should or not, on over training on the stairs.

Despite my stair fear, on January 30th, 2011 I will tackle the half-climb of the AON building staircase and help others in need. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said;

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."

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