Friday, July 22, 2011

46 floors - in 47 minutes!

Today was the big day :)

Last night, I set my alarm to go off at 5.30am. I went to bed at about 9:30pm and by the time I got over the nerves, I probably got to sleep at about 10ish?

I got up, had a shower, had a barocca, packed all of my stuff and headed off to work.  I was pumped :) I felt ready and very excited! 

I got to work and given the fact it was my day off, I was free to do what I wanted which ended up being quite a lot!  Kyley from Centre Management had sent out an Email to all of the tenants reminding them of the climb and encouraging them to donate.  I met with 3 people this morning and gratefully accepted their donation.  It was quite an honour meeting people who have been touched by what I have been working toward for the last 2 months. 

I then met with Kyley who told me what the drill was for the day.  We’d start on the 2nd floor and make our way up.  She had been in touch with Today Tonight who said they would be there around 11ish.  At this stage, I wasn’t really nervous.  I was focussed and ready.

I made a some phone calls to find out where people were – Da, Michael, Brad and the kids – they were all on their way. 

When Today Tonight arrived, I was still in my casual wear.  I sat with them for a while and as the interview was about to commence, I got a call from my Sister and I needed to go and get her from downstairs.  I excused myself and ran to go and get her (yes, ran because I can!).  Brad and the Boys were down stairs as well so I bought them up too.  We came back up stairs and I was sweating.  I tried to cool down a bit but, it didn’t work!  The crew from Today Tonight asked me to go and get changed before the interview so, I went upstairs and got my gear on!  I wore my black pants and a purple singlet top underneath a yellow T Shirt.  I also had my purple sneakers on too.  This is when I started to get a bit nervous!

Da put my make up on (as I was still sweaty and red) and I went downstairs to commence the Today Tonight interview.  I am so not good at those things!  The Journalist was one whom I had not met before.  She asked me a lot of questions about my health.  I said that I am a healthy overweight person which to some, may sound like a complete joke but, it’s true.  She asked if I’d stop if it got too much.  I said that the only thing that may stop me is my asthma however, I had my puffer on me and if anything else happened, I was totally prepared.  I also advised her I have private health insurance (for all the haters out there who think I’m not self funded!).  Not sure if they’ll air it or not as Da laughed.  I was laughing inside.

We went downstairs and Luciana and the Cancer Council crew were there all set up with their table full of Cancer Council merchandise.  It was so nice to finally meet Luciana.  I’ve been speaking to her for some months so it was nice to finally put a face to a name :) I met Tara Fisher who is Luciana’s Personal Trainer.  She is from Fitness First at Melbourne QV.  She announced that she was coming up too.

Luciana from The Cancer Council
Sylvia (who is also a Melton Genesis girl) arrived.  She showed me her singlet which said ‘never give up’.  I told her she should walk in front of all of us and we could look at that so we could take note when we felt as though it was getting a bit too hard!  It was wonderful to see her there.

Then Michael and his girlfriend Bianca arrived.  He was walking out the front of the building with his backpack filled with 40kg of weights.  He looked like he was in pain!  I know he’s been training hard for this event but, I haven’t seen him do it so far.  Seeing him with the pack on his back really helped put things into perspective and that’s when I actually realised this is going to happen!  If I hadn’t already, of course!

We got some photos and the Today Tonight crew did some filming and asked some questions and then we were off. 

I was to take the lead, Michael was next in line along with Sylvia, Da, Brendan,  Tara and somewhere in there was Lachlan and Callum. 

I remember the first set of stairs and I remember someone asking if we were there yet?  I announced ‘we’re on the 3rd floor’.  I think it was one of the boys who asked J

The Boys came up to the 12th floor.  It was on the 15th floor that I had a proper rest and sit down.  I had my Ventolin, a drink, a wipe down and changed the music on my iPod (I don’t know how Michael Jackson got onto my stairs play list!). 

We had a few breaks here and there and surprisingly, it was never my body that let me down – it was more my breathing which I managed perfectly by taking breaks here and there and having the ventolin. 

We got out on the 31st floor – the stairwell ended at this stage and we had to walk across to another one.  We stood out there for a moment and had a break and some fresh air.  Everyone seemed to be travelling well.  I am so proud of my Sister – she decided to do this at the spur of the moment last night.  It was amazing to see her doing so well.  Michael was holding up with his 40kg pack.  He was doing an amazing job.  Going up those stairs at 120kg when you’re normally used to being 80kg would have been such a challenge.  Brendan had hardly worked up a sweat!

The boys came back on at this floor and we continued on.  At the 40th floor, I thought ‘f**k it’ and I put both my headphones in my ears and I listened to ‘stronger’ by Kanye West and ‘sing’ by Chemical Romance.  These 2 songs are the ones that I listen to at the gym that enable me to do pretty much everything I need to do. 

When we got to the top, the reporter from Today Tonight was up there.  I can’t even remember what she asked and I can’t even remember what I said.  I was just so proud of myself for what I had done.  What I have achieved in the last year has been surreal.  Climbing up such a HUGE building at the weight that I am is something that I would have never thought of doing and considering I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs at all this time last year really says something.

Tonight, I am feeling really good.  I had Nachos, Enchiladas and a ‘cookie monster’ cocktail for dinner (when I say Nachos, my regular readers will know I can only have 6 or so chips with Avocado so they’re not overly bad).  The Cocktail on the other hand is certainly not the best for me.  I am ignoring Kilojoules tonight!

I know we’re going to make the goal of $5,000.  I have got to count up the coin tins from today and also the cash donations that were made.  Donations have been coming in all day and the Cancer Council also collected money for the cause downstairs.  I can’t wait to see what the tally is.  There is still time to donate – I’ll keep the fund open for another week or so – here’s the link…

And for those of you who said ‘I’ll do it once you’ve done it’ – well, now is the time because the mission has been accomplished!

I said the F word a few times today.  I do hope that Nanna wasn’t listening.  I know that she would have been so proud of me.  My Poppa was amazed.  I phoned him before the climb and after it as well.  He was so pleased.  Dad phoned when we were half way through and was quite shocked to hear how far we’d gone!

We finished the climb in 47 minutes!  I predicted an hour to an hour and a half.  I am so proud that we finished it in record time.  We did so well.

I am shocked at how well I did.  I thought it would be a lot harder.  I managed to pick up a pace torward the end.  I am so happy I put the work in that I did.  And I am happy that I believed in myself to do something so huge.

I have a few people I want to thank and these are in no particular order…

To EVERYONE who made a donation whether it be big or small, thank you SO MUCH.  Your support is appreciated and your money goes to very important research for those who suffer through this awful disease.  Together, we will find a cure.  I’ll post the final tally in a week or so once everything has been counted.  Thank you once again xo

Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of support over the past few days and weeks.  They have been invaluable.  Each and every one has been a joy and knowing that people believe in me has helped me believe in myself.  I’ve had such overwhelming support and I am humbled.

I’d like to thank Luciana for all the support she’s provided in the past few months.  I first spoke to Luciana on the 24th of May 2011 and she’s been wonderful.  If you want to do your own fundraiser through the Cancer Council, it’s so easy to organise.  Just give them a call and they’ll guide you through.

Thank you Michael for believing in me.  When I presented this to you 2 months ago, I wasn’t of the belief that I’d even make it.  The effort that you’ve put into planning out our training sessions has certainly paid off.  I am so proud of you for carrying that extra weight.  I hope that you accomplished your mission of making it a challenge for yourself :) thank you for everything.

I’d like to thank my family and friends who have been there for me every step of the way.  Some of you think I’m nuts for doing some of the things that I do – you’re correct but that’s why you all love me so much.  I’m sure you wouldn’t have it any other way :)

To Kyley from Melbourne Central Tower – thank you for making all of this possible.  You have been wonderful to work with and I really appreciate everything that you’ve done.  It wouldn’t have gone so smoothly without your help.

Brendan – I remember saying to you a few months ago ‘hmmm, I might climb the stairs of the building’ and you said ‘yeah, you should – I’ll go with you’ and sure enough, you did.  And we finished it.  Thank you for being a man of your word and inspiring me to do something unthinkable.

To Carly - my donation fairy.  Thank you so much for walking the floors at work today to collect some money.  That tin wouldn’t be able to fit another coin in if we tried.  I shall let you know how much was in it – am happy to hear that your biceps benefited from carrying around :) xo

To my big Boys – having you there today made things a bit easier.  You helped me get to the top by keeping me going and encouraging me.  You are both amazing and I love you to bits.  I am so proud of you for what you did today.  Great Nanna is too xo

My gorgeous Sister – your spontaneity often amazes me.  And so did your strength today.  You did so well climbing up those stairs.  I am so happy that you came up and I know that you are happy with what you achieved.  Nanna would be proud of you xo

Sylvia – thank you so much for coming today.  It was great to have you there.  You were watching out for everyone and I really appreciate it.  I can’t wait to do a run with you in the next week or so.  You are inspiring and you have such an enormous amount positive energy. 

Tara – it was lovely to meet you.  You are so fit!  You looked amazing when we had finished, just liked you’d walked out of a Salon!  I hope to be as fit as you some day!  Thank you for coming for the stroll.  It was a pleasure to have you there. 

Mandy – thank you so much for all your support over the past few weeks.  You have been a pillar of strength.  Your wisdom and encouragement is something that I have valued and I am lucky to have such a wonderful team leader.

Loddell –one day I’ll get you up some stairs or around a track but, until then – thank you for taking the photos from today.  It was a moment I will never forget and you captured several of them perfectly.  Thank you for your support.  And putting up with my whinging more than any one else that is listed above has had to. 

To the crew from Today Tonight – you have been fantastic.  There was a camera man who went the whole way with us today.  He did a great job.  To Lynda and Laura for taking an interest in my story 2 weeks ago, thank you.  I look forward to seeing what you compile out of the footage we got today.

Darling Ronda - thank you for the flowers that you sent me.  It was such a nice suprirse when I got home.  I shall read your card again later and I might have a bit of a cry!  Thank you for the lovely thought xoxo

And Nanna – I was first inspired to do the relay for life because of your courage and bravery.  I am honoured to have been able to complete this for you today.  Things did get tough and I did think of you and your sheer determination through the last few months and more so the last few weeks. This is what got me through some of the tough moments I experienced during the climb.  I didn’t give up as neither did you.  I know you know I made it to the top and I know how proud you were when I said this is what I was going to do for you.  I think you thought I was nuts too but, I know you’ll be happy to see I didn’t wear thongs as you first worried I would.  I love you.  And miss you xo

Apparantly, the Eureka Tower is next... hmmm.  I'll see how sore I am tomorrow first of all!


  1. Steph I just can't stop telling you how awesome you are! Xx

  2. Oh Steph, I'm crying tears of joy for you honey. And gratitude. As you know my mum died of Breast Cancer 9 years ago. Thank you for doing something so selfless and brave to raise money for such a horrible, insidious disease. Your gift will help to prevent others from losing their loved ones too, too early. I know my mum and your Nanna are cheering from up there in the good place. Amazing, amazing woman you are xx

  3. Hey Steph, Just wanted to say well done from all of us (I sent you a text this morning, but I think I have your old number). We never doubted you would make it up those stairs, because of the reason you were doing it. You may not believe this, but we do mean it- we are very proud of your achievements climbing the stairs. Well done. You should be very proud of yourself. Love from your family - Caro, Colin, James, Sophie, Aunty Pauline and Uncle Ken.

  4. Congratulations, totally inspiring to read your post. Hope you are not too sore the next day. Eureka sounds like a great challenge too.
    And what you said about being a healthy overweight person I totally get - being a healthy and overweight myself and working with a lot of lifelong skinny people who have long lists of ailments that the experts reckon should be mine, not theirs. And with my weight disappearing too, I'm getting even more healthy by the day.

  5. Steph, you made me cry again!! If you do Eureka Tower count me in!! Just make sure I have training time, and a cardiac unit on standby in case my aging body gives up!!! Again, you are AWESOME and I'm proud to know you! xxxooo

  6. CONGRATULATIONS! You've done an amazing thing!

  7. You are amazing.

    Well done.

  8. You look amazing. You have lost so much weight. Especially in that photo with the girl with the long brown hair. Wow. I am shocked.

  9. Yay so glad to be a part of your journey x Love Carly