“This is either going to be a great idea or the worst thing ever.” And so began the call from our friend, Jeff Barlow. He had been designing materials for the CF Foundation’s Stairclimb event for many years and it was time to pass the baton. He was well aware of the disease’s history in my family (see Help Q&A in the climb to fight CF!) and wasn’t sure what my response would be. I immediately accepted.
There is nothing happy about Cystic Fibrosis, but the Q&A team wanted to inspire a passion and energy to a very worthy cause. We decided to focus on the challenge of the climb. The entire Q&A team took on the challenge in 2010 and were well-versed in what it’s like to climb 56 floors. There’s a bit of arrogance after the first few flights and when the first water stand appears, you think you’re invincible and just breeze past it with a smile. This choice is immediately regretted two flights later. Suddenly your feet feel like they are stuck in cement. Surely you’ve already climbed a hundred flights. Breathing hurts. It’s conceivable that you’ve entered the stratosphere—until you see that you’re on the 16th floor. You dream of crews bringing emergency water supplies. Somewhere near floor 48, you think that you could actually make it and see yourself winning a big golden medal.