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HUSTLE UP THE HANCOCK Raising Money for the Respiratory Health Association of Chicago
If you’ve been reading my newsletters for a while, you’ll know that Teresa inspired me to get into shape when she gifted me a Fitbit a couple of Christmases ago. Although it took me a while to break the new Fitbit in, I was motivated once I did. At the beginning of my fitness journey, I would reach my 10,000 steps by walking around Millennium Park during my breaks. But last February, I turned my attention to flights of stairs. My office sits on the 11th floor of a 41-floor building. During breaks, I began to walk flights of stairs to get my 10,000 steps in, and let me tell you, it was hard work. At the beginning, I was walking only five flights of stairs, which eventually increased to seven, then nine flights. By October, I was walking 40 flights of stairs twice a day. After I saw all the progress I was making, I decided to sign up and seriously train for Hustle Up the Hancock. Hustle Up the Hancock is an annual race held by the Respiratory Health Association of Chicago. Participants raise money to climb 94 flights (1,632 stairs) as fast as they can, and all the proceeds go to furthering research on respiratory health and disease prevention. This year, the race was held on February 25. An estimated 3,309 people participated and raised a total of $975,947! The winning time was 10 minutes and 7 seconds, which was four seconds faster than the fastest time last year. My group started the race at 1:30 p.m., and my co-host and nephew, Jimmy, decided to climb with me. Jimmy didn’t train like I did, and the old man blew him out of the water!
25 minutes, he would donate $500. I accepted his challenge, but I thought to myself, “Oh no. I’ve been practicing, and I’ve never come near 25 minutes.” However, I was determined to do my best, and I thanked David for being willing to donate any money at all. After I reached the 95th floor that afternoon, I looked at my watch and realized that I had finished with a personal record time of 20 minutes and 45 seconds! I was shocked to see how well I had done, and I was thrilled to know that all my hard work had paid off for the Respiratory Health Association of Chicago. In all, I was able to raise around $1,000 for the cause, and I’ve already decided to race again next year. I want to thank everyone who donated. If you’re up for the challenge, I encourage you to start training and join me in my goal to set another personal best next February.
"Jimmy didn’t train like I did, and the old man blew him out of the water!"
Before the race, my friend David Hochberg fromWLS 890 AM’s "Home Sweet Home Chicago" radio show invited me on to talk about the race and my training. I told him that I had three goals: first, to finish the race; second, to finish without stopping; and third, to finish within 30 minutes. David told me those were good goals to have, but he had a challenge for me. If I were to finish in 30 minutes, David said he would donate $100. But if I were to finish within
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