Monday, April 30, 2012

Stair Master 2012

For the second year in a row I had to ask myself "What the hell am I doing here?" while lining up early on a Saturday morning to climb the stairs of one of Atlanta's tallest skyscrapers. Then I saw the fire truck pull up and remembered... the firemen.

I wrote last year about participating in the American Lung Association's Fight For Air Climb. It's a vertical race to the top of a tall building. The cause is good and the rewards are typical: a T-shirt, free bananas and Powerade, perky volunteers that never stop reassuring you that "you can do it!"

And Firemen. Each year fire stations from all around Atlanta participate in the event as well. Only they do it hardcore. They wait until the civilian participants have finished consuming all the oxygen in the stairwell, leaving in its place their own special athletic stank. And they do the climb in their full fire-fighting gear.

Hardcore.

Julie talked JB and me into participating last year. We all paid the minimum $100 for the honor since none of us bothered to ask anyone to sponsor us. Julie's excuse was that she just raised a bunch of money to climb the Hancock Tower in Chicago, and didn't want to annoy her friends again so soon. Her excuse was way better than mine. I just hate asking people for money.

But JB was inspired last year and said he was going to raise a bunch of money next time. Whatever. I should have learned by now to never dismiss JB when he says he's going to do something. This year he was the largest individual, non-team fundraiser. This achievement earned him the right to be the first person up the stairs with all the oxygen his little lungs could handle.

Yup, hardcore.
Of course, JB's fundraising efforts made it hard for me to ask our mutual friends for a follow-up donation. "That's okay," I said, "I'll hit up my twitter friends."

I had this fantasy that all the tweeps I'd ever helped with their various fund-raising runs, walks and shavings would fall all over themselves to return the favor. I even pictured it playing out in black and while, like the final scene of "It's a Wonderful Life".

I've since created a new Twitter profile called @SardonicCricket. Next time any of my tweets fall so flat, I'm going to switch accounts and chirp at myself.


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