Category: Events

So much for a race plan…


Race plans can be hard to follow.
In my head, this stair climb was going to be just like a workout. I was going to go hard while staying relaxed for 4 or 5 flights of stairs, then take an easy flight for a break. I visualized feeling fine after the first couple of reps, but still enjoying the break to let my lungs catch up. I anticipated a challenging third quarter of the climb when, just as is the case in a tough running workout, I’d be feeling winded and my illogical, oxygen starved brain would be convinced that the discomfort was never going to end. But as the last few reps dangled in front of me, and a pile of used up and discarded reps amassed behind me, I would see the light and my feet would start flying!
But then I ended up being first into the stairwell. I started off strong, taking three steps at a time at some points. I got to the fifth floor before I knew it and as I was considering taking an easy flight of steps for my first mini break, I heard Damian and UWO’s record holder in the 60m, Jason Kerr, hot on my heels. There was no way I was going easy for even a second, especially not a mere 5 flights into the climb.
Even continuing my furious pace, Damian caught up to me by the seventh floor. Since he started a good 10 seconds behind me, he confidently stayed only a few steps ahead of me for the remainder of the climb, finishing 13 seconds faster than me in 3 minutes and 4 seconds.
In true sprinter fashion, Jason blew by me shortly after Damian did, but came to a breathless standstill about 10 steps later. He held it together to finish in just under 4 minutes, but left his mark on the top floor.
My coach Vickie followed up behind her co-op student, Harrison, and we all caught our breath and relayed our experiences before catching the elevator for an ear-popping ride back down.
So it was harder than we thought, but it was a fun time for a fantastic cause!

2012 United Way StairClimb

Photo courtesy of Mike Maloney, London Community News
United Way CEO Andrew Lockie poses with Olympian Damian Warner, Michael Ray Richardson, London Lightning coach, and I in front of One London Place

Today is the day! Damian and I are set to run the stairs at One London Place in just under two hours…and we’re ready to go.
I read an article about preparing for a stair climb and it advised tapering your stair climb training in the final week leading up to the event. Damian and I are in the middle of a hard training week and have worked out twice a day each day this week, including a tough hill workout yesterday. So tapering, we have not.
However, the article recommended lots of intense visualization, and I’ve been visualizing like a madwoman! Throughout all of these imagined stair journeys, I think I’ve come up with a good race strategy. It is top secret until after the “race” this morning; working together in an heptathlon is one thing, but in this stair climb I can’t give my competitors a single edge!
If you are able to pledge Damian and I in the climb, please click here and follow the instructions to provide a secure online donation to the United Way of London and Middlesex.
Here is an article from the fundraising campaign launch a couple of weeks ago.
I’ll let you know how it goes!

A Night of Heroes

March 2, 2011 – Lamplighter Inn, London, Ontario

Community Living London‘s annual Night of Heroes was a huge success, raising a record $42,000 in support of the organization and people with intellectual disabilities.  The event boasts a fashion show and silent auction, and invites local heros to strut their stuff on the runway alongside true heros, those who benefit from CLL’s services and enjoy independent and fulfilling lives despite immense challenges.

CLL is proud to remain London’s biggest and oldest not-profit organization.  It advocates and develops services to “move towards a future where all people are valued and included in the community in ways that everyone can realize their goals and contribute their talents.”  This vision (found on CLL’s website) is really inspiring, encouraging those it reaches to see the person first, to come from a place of acceptance and opportunity rather than judgement and limitation.  Everyone has something to offer.  Like the kid riding the city bus and carrying a huge tuba in a Concerned Children’s Advertising commercial says, “nobody is good at everything, but everybody’s good at something!”

I was honoured to be invited to this event as a local hero.  It was an incredible night, from the energetic crowd, to the inspiring and enthusiastic heroes around me, to the dance party grand finale.  My partner, the kindhearted Gerald, all decked out in a beautiful suit supplied by a local business, and I entered the stage to the song that Gerald picked, Debbie Boone’s “You Light Up My Life“.  After the MC read our biographies, we did our runway walk and enjoyed the moment!

Waltzing with Gerald…first time waltzing in a track suit and running shoes!  …although now that I think about it, I may have waltzed at practice once or twice!?

My favourite part was when we were all invited back on stage for the grande finale.  The crowd was on it’s feet and it is amazing that the runway didn’t collapse under the jumping, smiling, enthusiastic dance party!

Thanks to Gerald and Community Living London for an awesome experience!!!