Posts Tagged ‘stair climb’

What a busy weekend!


This past weekend was one of the most challenging for me, because I decided to squeeze in so many events in one day. But I attended all of them and fared pretty well in each.

First Stop: Enbridge CN Tower Stair Climb for United Way
I’m not a morning person, so waking up at 5am was a challenge enough as it is. I didn’t have a lot of time to make myself a decent breakfast before I was supposed to meet my friends downtown for 7am to register for the climb, so I decided to grab some McDonald’s. That was my first mistake. But I would rather have a sausage and egg McMuffin in my belly, then climb up 1,776 steps on an empty stomach. I made it up the the tower in 25:02 minutes… Exactly 3 minutes off from my very first climb back in April.
Now I can blame the McDonald’s I ate, the lack of training, or even my old age, but I’m still proud of myself for getting up those steps without taking a single break for a breather! By the time I got my t-shirt and stuff from coat check it was just after 8:30am.

Second Stop: National Women’s Show
I’m a devout fan of this annual exhibit for women. This is truly the ultimate girls day out. The show started at 10am. since it was in the same vicinity as the stair climb I was able to get there early enough to secure my free goodie bag. I had wrangled up 10 of my girl friends to accompany me and we had a blast. Got some great deals and freebies on food, fashion and wellness. Even got to see Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott from The Young and the Restless). My shoulders were aching by the end of our visit because off all the bags-o-stuff, but it was worth it. Left there at about 3:30pm, because I needed to get home, clean up and change for the Bachata Social later that evening.

Last stop: Kings of Bachata “Love & Hate” Dance Social
Hosted by The Bachata and Toronto Latin I was super excited for this social dance event. Bachata is definitely my favourite dance since I’ve started Latin dancing. To have a wide array of instructors under one roof helped display social comradery among the salsa scene in Toronto. I got there around 7pm and several DJs played a nice selection of bachata and salsa. I even got a good kizomba lesson during one of the workshops.
What I was looking forward to was the Jack and Jill Freeze Competition. The object of the competition/game is to dance to randomly selected bachata songs, with randomly selected dance partners. The “freeze” addition to the game has the music stop, and the last person to freeze their bachata pose gets booted from the competition until one couple remains. As the competition went on, the remaining couple’s dance technique became just as important as their “freezability”, and I’m happy to say that my partner and I won the competition! It was great getting cheered on by my salsa friends. I am now the lucky owner of a Sony Reader (now I can start reading books again).

What an eventful Saturday!

I Must Be Crazy: I’m Climbing up the CN Tower Again


I might as well make good use of my agility and metabolism while I’m young, ’cause heaven knows I won’t be climbing up 1,776 steps 20 years from now.

That’s correct, I’m taking on the challenge of the CN Tower Stair Climb again–this time for United Way. Last April, I was able to climb up the equivalent of 144 stories and reach the observation deck in just over 22 minutes. This Saturday morning I sincerely hope that I beat my personal best, because if I don’t I’m probably going to feel like it’s all downhill from here!

My training comprised of a few different activites last Spring, but this year I didn’t get much of a chance to. I did manage a basketball game (I was so afraid of getting injured again), and some salsa dancing to get the blood flowin’ this week though. I may do a session of Turbo Jam tomorrow night, so we’ll see how it goes.

What’s strange is that I’ll be spent by the end of Saturday, because I also have to tackle the National Women’s Show and a giant Latin dance social that same day! Sometimes I wonder how I do it. I may need some Red Bull stashed close by just in case.

If you’d like to sponsor me (100% of the money raised goes directly to the United Way), please follow this link.

By sponsoring me, you’re helping support a network of community-based health and social service agencies located across Toronto. Click here if you would like to find out more about how your generosity can help.

Thanks in advance!

I Made It To The Top! – CN Tower Stair Climb for WWF


Monique's Stair Climb Time of 22:02

This morning I completed my very first CN Tower stair climb challenge! That’s right: I climbed 1,776 steps and lived to tell about it.

My initial plan was to wake up at 5am, so that I could get to the Tower before the rush. Of course that didn’t happen. When I looked over at my alarm clock it was 6:30am (I need to really stop hitting the ‘off’ button when it starts buzzing). It’s a good thing registration for the event was from 6am – 10am, so I had enough time to eat some breakfast for once, because there was no way in Hades that I was walking up the CN Tower on an empty stomach. Had a bowl of oatmeal with strawberries and a glass of grapefruit juice. Took my vitamins, found my workout clothes and I was out the door.

When I got to the Atrium around 8:30 I was able to register, submit my pledges, and check my belongings (the climb is hands-free, no phone, camera, fanny-pack, water bottles, or iPods). They gave me a small, white card with my ID# on it so that my time can be tracked, and that (along with my coat check ticket) was the only thing in my hand as I went up.

Seemed like a lot of people slept in, because the place was pretty busy. There were people of all types there (even saw a pregnant woman with a picture of the earth painted on her belly). Once inside Skywalk I waited about 10-15 minutes, then our portion of the line was escorted around to the front of the CN Tower. There were several security check points: Had to spread ’em at the main entrance while I got scanned with metal detectors, the usual explosion detection system inside the Tower, and a few other volunteers just checking wristbands along the route. So far the organization by both WWF and the CN Tower has been pretty good.

Card in hand, I was directed to a side door on the mezzanine level, and my stair climb journey officially started. I got time-stamped (09:11:35)  and was off! I mentioned in my original post that I actually worked at the CN Tower in my youth for a couple of years. But this is the first time that I actually got to step foot inside the centre staircase. It’s what I expected, nothing to brag about. Just a bunch of metal steps (about 12 between landings) inside a shaft that wasn’t as claustrophobic as I thought. There was even some cute paintings on each landing done my elementary and high school students that spoke words of encouragement and the reason behind the fundraising climb.

Days leading up to the event I was trying to think about the best strategy that would benefit me on this climb. But I was swamped with work stuff this week that I didn’t really get to train as much as I wanted, plus I was going on a limited amount of sleep due to pulling an all-nighter the night before. So I remembered the children’s tale about the tortoise and the hare: Slow and steady wins the race.

I didn’t want to break any records and I was not going to wind up being one of those people getting carted off on a gurney because they overexerted themselves. Thank goodness there was a paramedic on every 12th landing, just in case. I took each single step at a time, and I think at the steady pace I was going it worked out to be a little over a second per 2 steps.

I’m thinking, this isn’t to bad! But by the time I got to the 20th level I was feeling a little burn in my thighs. But I kept my pace! I noticed a few people taking breathers on the landings by the time I got to the 30th level. Other climbers were breathing heavily by the time the 40th came around. But not me! I actually didn’t really break a sweat until the 60th floor. You don’t understand, this is unheard of for me. I don’t know if it was my technique or what, but I actually felt okay going up all those steps (and I usually stop for breath climbing up the stairs to the second floor at work). I’m proud of myself for keeping my pace… I didn’t even stop for any breaks!

I wanted to run the last 10 flights or so (there’s 144 floors in total), but I didn’t want to overexert myself and end up making my time even slower. So I just doubled up on the steps the last two flights to add to my great finish. Handed my time-card to the volunteer: 09:33:35! Just about 22 minutes. I knew I shouldn’t have kindly stepped out of that way for that aimless chick on level 83, it messed with my flow… could’ve clocked in at 21 minutes and change instead!

At that point I thought I was finished. Nope… just when you think you’re done, there’s actually about 10 more flights of stairs to climb to get to the Glass Floor level. But after those, I exited the doors and was greeted with encouraging cheers by WWF volunteers and spectators (That was a lot of fun… I felt like a celebrity).

I was given a bottle of Dasani water and had to swim through the large crowd in order to find the end of the line for the elevators down. The quote was an hour wait, at which point I was thinking that it probably would be a lot quicker to take the stairs back down. But the wait wasn’t that bad… got to chat with some tourists who mistakenly came to the Tower during the Climb and were hoping the wait time wouldn’t mess with their schedule, and a mother-daughter who amazingly did the climb even though they both have a fear of heights. I was on the elevator down just after 10am.

Trekking back to the Atrium, I collected my donation prize (whoo-hoo, movie tickets!), my official WWF T-Shirt which had my time of 22 minutes, 2 seconds on it, and collected my coat and headed home after a great morning. Of course I had to make a pit stop first for some well-deserved poutine (I was starving)!

If you have never did one of the bi-annual stair climbs at the CN Tower, I strongly encourage you to try at least once. For me it was an amazing experience, and I learned what my body can handle in terms of exercise.

Stair climb tips that worked for me:

  • Eat a decent breakfast – This is important before your climb, as you don’t want to end up passing out due to an empty stomach with all that exercise. Plus, your body needs the energy and nutrients.
  • Get there early – If you don’t want to to spend the entire morning in cues, then try to make it to registration before 7am.
  • Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth – Aside from the fact that it makes the breathing process more effective by supplying sufficient oxygen during exercise, do it if you’re worried about foreign pathogens being exuded from a concrete shaft full of sweaty stair climbers.
  • Dress for fitness success – A good pair of running shoes is a must (make sure they have good cushioning). Workout leggings/capris, shorts, T-Shirt, tank-top (and ladies, be sure to wear a sports bra), etc. Remember: deodorant is your friend.
  • Pace yourself – Don’t start off too fast, because it’s going to catch up with you by the end. Take your time: You’re only racing against yourself. Use that handrail if you need to. It will help pull you up while your legs do their work
  • Enjoy the day – Everyone there is aiming to make it to the top, whether it’s in 15 minutes or in 50, with your friends or by yourself. Be encouraging to others who might not be able to go all the way. And also appreciate the hundreds of WWF volunteers and staff that help pull off this wonderful charitable event.

The only think I regret about my first stair climb experience was not being able to capture myself on camera just before and after the event (I wanted to pose with the WWF panda mascot… haha), because I participated on my own, plus the hands-free rule kind of got in the way.

I would definitely climb those stairs again. I already recruited a couple of my friends to join in on the festivities for the United Way CN Tower Climb in October. Perhaps I’ll try to aim for a personal best and beat my time of 22 minutes.

A big thank you to all the people who sponsored me for the climb. I truly appreciate it. I managed to raise $254 in donations to help the World Wildlife Fund Canada. Online fundraising is still open until the end of May, so you can visit my page during that time and donate for a good environmental cause.

It’s one step at a time for the planet.

CN Tower Stair Climb for WWF


WWF CN Tower Stair ClimbHello everyone! On April 21st I will be participating in the annual CN Tower stair climb to support WWF Canada. That’s right, I’ll be climbing up all 1,776 steps!

For those who don’t know me that well, I do try my best to keep the environment strong, and now that includes helping with the protection of it’s endangered wildlife and climate change.

Having worked at the CN Tower in my youth for a couple years, I’ve never actually climbed up all those steps (come to think of it, I used to laugh at the people attempting to do it during those events as I escorted them on the elevator down… boy, have the tables have turned). But now’s my chance to achieve a personal goal on my bucket list and help with a good cause as well.

Hopefully all my years of kickboxing and salsa dancing will come in handy, as I think I would probably collapse on step #47 if I don’t start training a bit more (thank goodness there are paramedics on every 10th floor). Perhaps hooking a chocolate doughnut to the end of a pole attached to my headband will be a good motivation as I climb up?

I’m counting on all of you to help me reach my fundraising goal. The money I raise with the help of your generous support will make a huge difference to WWF’s efforts to conserve species at risk, like polar bears, tigers, and pandas (aka all the cute animals I don’t eat) and the habitats they call home.

Visit this link to my personal fundraising page, so that you can sponsor me directly online. Remember, every little bit helps (even if it’s just a couple dollars)!

If you’d like to join me in the challenge by climbing yourself, don’t hesitate to sign up at Feel free to share this page to anyone else you know who may be interested in pledging my climb.

Thank you in advance for your support!