Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Ready… Set…. GO!

Posted: February 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Cecilia Huang, our fabulous Development Assistant

We are only two days away from the event.  How exciting is that?!  It’s exciting alright, but one might wonder what is so special about the Stairclimb that really gets us going?

Today I interviewed our team and asked the big question:  What is the one thing you are looking forward to the most this weekend? Here are their answers.


“Talking to the people who thought they couldn’t do it and congratulating them on their achievements.”


“Seeing the firefighters in full gear (or as little gear as possible…)!”


“Meeting all the people I’ve interviewed over the phone.”


“Seeing the entire event come together – it’s my first Stairclimb!”


“High-fiving everyone at the top!”

What are YOU are looking forward to this weekend? Tell us in the comments below!


From big hair to combat boots – the next big craze to hit the fitness world was boot camps, based on military training techniques and often taught by ex-military instructors. These hit it big in the ’90s, but are still prevalent today for anyone who is willing to get up ridiculously early and get yelled at. Now drop and give me 20!

I’m Climbing for My Dad

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

Meet Brian McKendry (pictured above, right), who is making the climb in honour of his father, Jim (left & below).

Why did you sign up for Stairclimb ?

My Dad, Jim, is my inspiration and motivation for participating in Stairclimb 2012. After a 16-month struggle with cancer on the lining of his lung, he passed away on October 29, 2010. Participating in the Stairclimb seemed the obvious choice to raise money for a cause near to my heart.

Your Dad was a great source of inspiration in your life – what made him so special?

His greatest pleasure in life was participating in physical activities – everything from hiking to skiing to weight-lifting and running. He was committed to staying fit. Even through two rounds of chemotherapy, Dad continued to run and lift weights and maintained an unwaveringly positive attitude about his situation, and life in general. On our last visit to the gym together, I remember thinking to myself, “How can he DO this?” He was tough, my old man!

You’re currently our top individual fundraiser. How did that come about?

I’ve actually been quite surprised! I started out with a goal of $500, which seemed like a reasonable amount to try for. Before I knew it, I had to adjust my goal upwards – not once, but twice! – to $1750, which I’m very close to reaching!

Given your father’s legacy of physical fitness, you must be training hard! What’s your secret?

I live in a 12-storey building, so I’ve been running the stairs regularly. I don’t enjoy running in the rain (and let’s face it, it rains a lot in Vancouver!), so it’s the perfect solution. I expect Stairclimb will be a challenge, but it’s one I’m looking forward to.

I’m shooting for a 7 minute climb time. Wish me luck!

The ’50s brought us the first TV fitness guru – Jack Lalanne (pictured above) – whose TV show The Jack Lalanne Show would become one of the longest-running programs of its kind. He also came up with the first elastic training band (what we’d now call resistance training), known as the Glamour Stretcher.

By Marissa, our fantastic Special Events Coordinator

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We wouldn’t be where we are today without our amazing volunteers.

Last year over  over 75 volunteers got up before the sun to show up and make the Stairclimb for Clean Air happen. Without their tireless work and cheerful attitudes, it wouldn’t have been half the event it turned out to be – or any event at all! We love them, and you should too.

Here are the top ten reasons why:

10.  My volunteers always greet our Climbers with smiling faces and point them to where the good muffins are!

9.  My volunteers will patiently help you organize your donations to make sure that your Aunt Jane gets a tax receipt.

8.  My volunteers are here to make sure you and everyone else are safe and comfortable.

7.  My volunteers ride up and down in an elevator all day… often packed with sweaty Stairclimbers!

6.  My volunteers stay after everyone has gone home to help with the clean-up.

5.  My volunteers spend hours blowing up what seem like one million balloons.

4.  My volunteers run up and down that stairwell SEVERAL times before you even get there! (They have amazing calf muscles.)

3.  My volunteers make sure you get an awesome event day photo. (Don’t forget to visit the photo area!)

2.  My volunteers stand in the stairwell to cheer you on and give you water for 4 hours. 4 HOURS!

1.  My volunteers are willing to get up and be at the Sheraton at 7 AM. On a Sunday morning! ‘Nuff said.

When you see one of our volunteers, take a minute to thank them for making the Stairclimb for Clean Air the amazing event it is! It wouldn’t happen without them!

My warmest thank you to all my volunteers – past and present – you guys seriously rock!

Generally speaking, the 1940s were not a good time for women and exercise. This was due to an erroneous belief that too much exercise would damage women’s reproductive organs (but not men’s oddly enough). Because of this, women were actively discouraged from working up a sweat.

Despite this attitude, there were one or two fitness trends that popped up – such as the dizzying exercise wheel (pictured above) used in a high fashion photo by Conde Nast.

My Team is Climbing for Me

Posted: February 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

Meet Cathie Clarkson (pictured with her husband, Ron, and daughters Chelsey and Carissa), a lung cancer survivor and anti-tobacco activist.

Who is on your team?

I’m the namesake for team “Climbing for Cathie.” I won’t be climbing this year, but the rest of my family will be – my husband Ron,  daughters Chelsey and Carissa, and close friends.

Why is Stairclimb  an important event for you?

We’re climbing to raise money to help fund important research and ultimately cures for lung disease. I myself have Stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer, which was diagnosed in the summer of 2010.

How is your recovery going?

I was lucky to be part of a vaccine study and so far it has generated great results! I’d like to say I’m cured of lung cancer, but technically I can’t say that until I reach the five year mark. In the meantime I’m enjoying being smoke-free and have had a busy year doing all sorts of things I always wanted to do:  I joined my first soccer team,   went to Disneyland (see photo above) and visited Las Vegas for the first time. Life is good!

If you could say one thing to young people, what would it be?

I started smoking when I was a kid and just kept going. Look where it got me? If my story can play a role in helping stop children from smoking in the first place (I count teenagers as kids too) –  I’ll be happy!