The Fight for Air climb is a stair climb challenge which benefits the American Lung Association. It brings awareness and support to people with respiratory issues. The one I have completed involves 32 floors and 532 stairs. I choose the ultimate climber option which includes an hour of climbing – however many times I want.
I start the climb and try to get into a rhythm. I want to use my time wisely but also use my momentum and energy wisely. I have to pay attention to my breathing. My muscles begin to ache and fatigue. Some people pass me. I pass others. The turns into each flight become a pattern, but an exhausting one that seems endless at times. When I finally reach the top, an elevator is waiting. Several of us step in and use the pause to take a drink, unwrap a cough drop, or stretch. The elevator doors open, and I begin the climb again. My legs are more fatigued but also familiar enough with the motion that they find strength. The burn of my lungs deepens but it is a reminder of the people for whom I’m climbing. I continue to put one foot in front of another, pacing my steps and my breaths. And at the end, I am exhausted but satisfied. I am sore but strengthened.
It reminds me of my prayer life.