Social climbing

I’ve never been much of a social person. I have my friends, sure, but I’ve never been one to do things in groups: parties, mass get-togethers, clubs, or really anything of the sort.

You could say I’m a bit of a lone wolf.

Well, minus the fact that I’m a human and not a wolf.

Regardless, the concept extends into the realm of my fitness. Granted, I’ve participated in fitness classes, but my preference has always been solo training. That said, I will say there have been brief moments where I’ve considered seeking out running groups to join. I’ve still never been that amped up about the idea, though, so I’ve never lingered on it for too long or felt the need to make it happen.

However, one social thought has occurred to me that has lingered: to either join or start a stair climbing group.

The thought process behind it is threefold:

  1. Group training could help make me better
  2. My group could enter tower races as a team and compete for group awards
  3. Having a group might help lend credibility to my training efforts, which might sway management at some buildings to let me/us to train there during off hours.

Currently, Stephanie is my only training partner for stairs. And I love our ‘stair dates.’ We go into my work building by ourselves during off hours and go about putting in our work. We don’t talk much or anything during our training, but we’re working toward goals together. It’s just sort of ‘our thing’.

I wouldn’t trade those stair dates in for anything, but I wouldn’t mind adding some additional approaches to training as well as some more friendly competition for motivational purposes.

The problem with this is people don’t really seem to want to spend a whole bunch of time climbing up a whole bunch of stairs. And, let me tell ya: I JUST DON’T GET IT. As much as I enjoy running, and running in races, the feel of a tower race, especially once you’ve completed it, trumps the feel of a road race by a considerably large margin. I mean, to me it’s not even close.

But every time I sign up for a new stair climb and ask someone to join my team, I’m almost always turned down without a second thought. The stupid part about it is I’m not necessarily even asking them to train and be competitive as much as I’m just asking them to join the team.

Sure, I’m usually asking people I think could do well and be competitive if they trained, but I’m not selling it to them that way. But it’s still always a no.

I’m almost to the point now where I’m considering just petitioning the internet somehow for runners and other athletes interested in joining competitive stair climbing teams at the events I’m registered for.¬†An ad on Craigslist maybe? Or perhaps I should try to track down and recruit the good climbers from the events’ previous years?

I’m not sure either of those are good ideas.

So far this year, Stephanie and I are registered for four stair climbs:

  1. CFF Climb For A Cure Minneapolis on Feb 7
  2. Fight For Air Indianapolis on March 8
  3. Fight For Air Milwaukee on March 22
  4. Hustle Up The Hancock in Chicago on April 13

Of those four, we’ve established teams for three of them (mainly so we can ensure we get the same start times). The only one we didn’t do that for was Hustle Up The Hancock. And of the three we have done it for, we wouldn’t expect anyone to travel with us, so it’d be a matter of finding people in those areas to join.

Our Minneapolis climb team will likely be just the two of us, as we don’t really know anyone in Minneapolis who’d be interested. Indy’s not turning out much better. Even though I have ties to Indiana, none of my requests are yielding results.

And that brings me back locally to Milwaukee: who knows if our home team here will even be bigger than just us? Stephanie and I have both been efforting to each out to people we know, but the interest just doesn’t seem to be there.


Stair climbing is seriously awesome. People need to realize this.

So maybe it is time I start a group. And not just for me, but for all the people who haven’t discovered how great stair climbing, and how it benefits all sorts of other fitness disciplines.

(But also for me. I want to get better. Of course.)


One comment

  1. Good luck with your endeavor. I am also a lone wolf and plan to keep it that way. Just started climbing a couple of weeks ago and find it very useful. I know it built up my legs for biking.

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