Big Climb’s message resonates with Mirror reporter

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  • Tuesday, March 18, 2008 11:35am
  • News

By AILEEN CHARLESTON, The Mirror

What I thought would be just another simple workout turned out to be one of the best ways I have ever contributed to a good deed in my life.

Climbing the Columbia Tower in Seattle, although extremely dreadful at some points, gave me a new sense of what working for a cause really means.

When I walked into the doors of the Columbia Tower, I was first overwhelmed by the quantity of people who were ready and set to either race or climb the tallest building in the city.

The fit, the young, the moms, the dads, the small, the tall, the not-so-fit — all made an effort to show up and fight leukemia.

Whether it was for a personal cause or a workout session, people actually gave up a moment of their time to help the people who, like my nephew, are fighting for their lives on a daily basis.

Watching people wear shirts with pictures of their loved ones affected by leukemia, and seeing others carry picture frames throughout the whole race, reminded me what I was really there for.

Yes, I was there for the challenge — at least that’s what I thought at the beginning, but after reaching the 73rd floor, I realized I was there helping a part of humanity get a second chance in life.

The organizers posted different facts and stories about leukemia at almost every stairwell so that people who were climbing, like me, would be able to focus their attention on something else other than the breath being taken away from every step.

“Every five minutes a new case is diagnosed,” read one poster that stuck with me the most.

Although I took my time climbing each one of those 1,311 steps, I can honestly say it was one of the most rewarding workouts of my life.

More than the workout, the goodie bag, the free T-shirt or the food, what gave me the most satisfaction was helping a cause that related directly to me and making myself useful.

Contact Aileen Charleston: acharleston@fedwaymirror.com

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