SkyRise 2010: 103 Flights. 2,109 Steps. 53.52 Minutes.

Blog post by Crystal M.—a contributor to

103 Floors. 2109 Stairs. 53.52 Minutes.

The Willis Tower

The challenge? Are you up for it? YES!

On Sunday, November 14, 21010,  I climbed the tallest building in the WESTERN HEMISPHERE—The Willis (formerly Sears) Tower!

If I said getting up those steps was easy, I would be a big liar and no part of the truth would be in me! The Willis Tower did not allow me up those stairs easily and each and every one of those 103 floors and 2,109 steps made me realize what a blessing life, health, and freedom of movement really is.

On the way up, I passed two SkyRisers who encouraged me so much. One was an older gentleman and the other, an older lady. They had to be in their mid-80s, early-90s. They took each step, one at a time. As I walked by I said, “you can do it!” but I really wanted to give them a BIG hug. Here I was, by floor 39, feeling like I was going to die, and they were going steady, no complaints: just. doing. it.

A few highlights from a couple of floors.

Floor 39: Again, it was here that I felt as if I was going to perish in that stairwell, but we were a little over 1/3 of the way through so I couldn’t turn around!

Floor 52: The half-way mark! It was here that I realized, though it had been and would continue to be hard, I could make it TO THE TOP.

Maybe a trip to Paris is in order?

Floor 70: Each floor represented 1 lb of weight loss since I began my weight loss journey in January. I had to do a VICTORY dance on this floor!

Floor 83: We only had 20 more floors to do—really doable especially since the building we trained in had 19 floors.

Floor 100: 3 from the top! And, my official weight loss goal! By SkyRise 2011, I’ll do a victory dance on this level as well!

Floor 102: We’re almost here, let’s SPRINT to the TOP! LOL

Floor 103: The Finish LINE! SO happy to see the SkyDeck! Made it up in 53:52 seconds!

SkyRise 2010 re-affirmed a lot of obvious lessons:

Made it TO THE TOP!

  • Progress happens after an accumulation of little changes over a long period of time. I made it up those steps, one-at-a-time and after 2,109 steps, I reached my goal.
  • “Team work makes the dream work”—thanks for this one LH! ☺ This one is obvious, work with others to achieve your fitness goals. When I decided to do SkyRise 2010, I immediately recruited friends to do it with me. (Same with when I started my lifestyle transition in January.) Friends provide encouragement, accountability, and GOOD LAUGHS that really keep you going when the going gets tough!
  • It hurts, but keep going! (This is my exercise mantra!)
  • Encouragement comes from unexpected places—be open to receiving it!

SkyRise 2010 was exhilarating! Who’s up for SkyRise 2011????


  1. That is awesome Crystal! I might seriously consider doing it next year with you. I have always wanted to try it. I am very proud of you.


  2. Crystal- you are awesome!!! That looks like a great challenge, and I think I just may have to make it to Chicago for next years. Keep up the hard work!

  3. What a fabulous accomplishment! Congratulations!

  4. Thanks everybody!!! Let’s do it in 2011!!!! 🙂

  5. Great job Crystal! That looks like an awesome thing to do. That is a lot of steps! Way to go. I liked how you described how you felt at different floors and when you reached the top. You should be very proud of yourself.

  6. I was posting my comment the same time as you. That would be a great idea to get a group of us together to do it next year.

  7. Crystal, this is a great post! What an accomplishment! Something I definitely want to try!

  8. Wow! What an accomplishment! Congratulations to you.

  9. Sharon Jimenez says

    Congratulations!! This is awesome! Roger and I both would like to do this in 2011~!

  10. Call me crazy, but how about a bunch of bootcampers/mamatomers doing the Warrior dash this summer, in Twin Lakes…..that would be the ultimate in teamwork, and looks like tons of fun. I nominate Crystal and Roger as team captains.

  11. WARRIOR DASH!!!! Let’s do it!!! 🙂

  12. Congratulations Crystal!! I would love to try SkyRise 2011!
    Was there any specific training you did for this?

  13. Crystal! You look amazing! Great job! We miss you at bootcamp!! Congrats on everything! 🙂

  14. Hi Jane, I continued my regular cardio/weight/core workouts but added stair climbing once a week. I trained in a building that had 19 levels and every week we (the girls who did SkyRise with me) added another time we went up and down–until we got up to going up and down 8 times, which equaled, 2,128 stairs–a little over the 2,109 stairs of the Sears Tower. We only counted go “up,” not coming back down. Also, I did the StairMaster (the machine that has the rotating steps) but soon realized it didn’t quite compare!

    Thanks Mary!!!!! 🙂

  15. Oh, we trained for about 7 weeks.


  1. […] I’ve been thinking about the saying “happy but not satisfied”. Like Crystal, see how she climbed 2,109 steps!,  I set a goal and achieved it this past weekend. I earned my next degree of blackbelt. I had tons […]

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