My heart was pounding.
I breathed raggedly and I clung on the banister as I looked up above in overwhelming despair. I still had floors and floors of staircases yet to climb. I had reached the halfway point in five minutes and yet it already felt like a lifetime on this epic London skyrace.
‘I need to go back to the gym,’ I gasped out to the cheering volunteer, who enthusiastically clapped her hands and waved pom poms cheekily at me.
Yes, I was doing the London Skyrace in aid for Action on Hearing Loss within the secretive Heron Tower, deep in the heart of business London off Liverpool Street. There were 39 floors to climb and I had only done 18 so far.
But this was no ordinary climb. It wasn’t a windowless and sterile staircase, oh no. It was a climb that opened you up to London in a completely different way than any other way you’ve ever seen the city before. Two sides of the staircase was just glass – offering you dizzyingly high views of the Central Business District and a wonderful close up view of the famous buildings of London such as the Gherkin and the Walkie Talkie.
At the halfway point, I was impressed. Taking a breather whilst to calm my overworked heart, the foggy wintry landscape was a revelation. I thought I’ve seen London in every perspective. I was wrong. I hadn’t seen London feeling like I was about to pass out, waiting for a beautiful runner to pass me by before giving me the kiss of life!
Chance would have been a fine thing so I progressed further, climbing albeit slowly because I’m lazy so I can see London open up above the fog. Wait, was that the Shard?
See more: The Epic View from the Shard
Why was I climbing in the London SkyRace for Action on Hearing Loss?
- Funds can be raised to change the lives of the 11 million people with deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss in the UK.
- With that, they can help reduce the stigma and isolation attached to hearing loss through support, campaigning and raising awareness.
- To contribute and raise awareness of the groundbreaking biomedical research into treatments for deafness and tinnitus.
Five more minutes later, I only had three more floors to go. My lungs were screaming before and after they were filled with sweet delicious oxygen, ready to power my shaking legs to get up to the top. It’s safe to say I won’t be conquering Mount Everest any time soon!
The last steps were a complete blur.
All I remember I was screaming out for
wine water as I stumbled past the finish line, lined with cheerful volunteers who offered their congratulations, shaking my hand.
Collapsing in a chair, I gulped water a plenty but my eyes couldn’t be taken off that London Skyrace view. We were high above the fog on this cold December afternoon and the buildings greeted me with their stylish and modern architecture that had me riveted (no pun intended) to them.
The landscape completely inspired me to get fitter in body and mind. This climb on the Heron Tower has forced me to question my London lifestyle. Was I having too many coffees and takeaways? Was I slightly overweight, tied to my desk at work and my only mode of exercise was barging into the crowds on the tube? The answers to all of them are yes.
So for the new year resolutions, it was time to start thinking about health. Time to start living life to the full. And always, definitely time to start pushing my limits again.