Some people do walks...some people do runs...we do stairs! Like, a lot of them. My team, Kelsi's Klimbers, has been participating in the Los Angeles Cystic Fibrosis Climb since it's first year in 2010. It's one of my favorite Cystic Fibrosis Foundation events (although I may be a little bias because I serve as co-chair) and this year was extra special because it was the first year at our new home, the iconic Rose Bowl stadium: home of the UCLA Bruins, 5 Super Bowls and now the CF Climb!
Every year Kelsi's Klimbers has a new theme, and this year our them was Bees (in case you didn't notice). Why bees? Well, Kelsi had a little thing for bees. Her Instagram handle was @penbelopeBEE, she named one of her dogs "Honey Bee", she was a bee once for Halloween, etc. And get this: before last year's climb (which was not long after Kelsi passed away) my friend Jacqueline had a dream Kelsi was at the climb in a bee dress climbing the stairs next to me. She felt Kelsi wanted her to deliver that message to me. Then on the day of the Climb, I kid you not ONE SINGLE BEE stalked us all day long. From morning until the afternoon. And at that moment I decided on this year's theme. And yes, we did have beekeepers. Obviously.
So how does the climb work? It's pretty simple: raise money for the CF Foundation, climb 1000 (or 3000 if you're real crazy) steps of the Rose Bowl, then pray that you can walk normally within the following week. You can be timed if you want to be competitive OR you can go at your own pace and pause repeatedly for water breaks like I do most years (honestly, it's not as hard as I'm making out to be, I promise!). We've got climbers of all ages (some even with CF!) and our special high-rise heroes: firemen and police who climb in all their gear.
I have to brag just a little because my team is so AWESOME and I'm extremely lucky to have these people in my life who support this event every year. Kelsi's Klimbers has grown from 7 climbers in 2010 to over 40 for the past two years. We've been the top fundraising team 7 years in a row have raised a total of almost $175k to date. YOU GO KELSI'S KLIMBERS.
If you're interested in starting your own climb team or climbing as an individual, find the CF Climb nearest you! If climbing's not your thing, try Great Strides, Cycle for Life or Xtreme Hike. You can also sign up to be a CF Foundation TeamMATE and volunteer at any of these events (this usually requires a lot less sweating). There's something for everyone!