For the past couple years, I’ve participated in a very small fundraiser on Thanksgiving morning where a group of us run the Mt Tabor stairs and people pledge $$ for how many laps we do. This year, I thought I decided to organize the same thing except the money would go to my school (specifically to buy gift cards for families in need, of which there are many). There are 287 steps up, so do that 10 times and you’ve got yourself a sweet workout plus a healthy way to raise money.

But this is a selfish venture.

Last year, I had blown out my knee in late September (my birthday weekend to be exact) so it was a HUGE bummer to me that I could only walk the stairs a couple months later when Thanksgiving hit (I had no ACL and a super torn meniscus so I’m surprised I even did it). After my surgery back in March, I made a secret pact with myself that I would run the Tabor Stairs on Thanksgiving with as much intensity as I could muster.

So back in June, I rallied a few teachers to start walking the stairs with me every week, and I haven’t missed a single week. One of the things I miss most about playing soccer was the rainy, cold, miserable Sundays where you could slide tackle someone and blame it on the wet grass, and then come home and take a hot shower. I’m an Oregonian that way. Sadly, I will never play soccer again (or snowboard), but running the stairs on Sundays with our recent crappy weather has been a good replacement.

Yesterday, Thor and I decided to do a “test” run to gear us up for the real thing in a couple days. We set the clock for 60 minutes exactly, and both ran 9 laps (pretty much nonstop). It was exhausting and I was cursing myself a little bit in my mind, but at the same time, it was monumental: I’m almost back to where I used to be physically. Almost.

Being able to run up and down those damned stairs is a milestone for me, especially since the healing process has taken a lot longer than I had hoped. I also did a bunch of box jumps at the gym on Saturday. My knee may be a little stiff sometimes, but it doesn’t hurt like it did back in September and I can see that my progress has become exponential.

A lot of people say to me, “Oh I could never run up the stairs like you do…” but the reality isn’t that I just decided one day, “I’m gonna run up those stairs for 60 minutes.” The reality is that I’ve trained for it. Back in June, I was walking slowly and gingerly stepping down. In August, I could run up once or twice with some pushups at the top. I’ve put in approximately 50 hours into running those stairs.

So, yes, on Thanksgiving I will raise some money, but more importantly, in my head I will be officially healed.

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