Friday, May 2, 2008

Funk Climbs the CN Tower in Recorded Time

I never thought in a million years that I would walk up the CN Tower. I’ve visited the beast quite a few times; as a kid, a teenager and a father. Travelling up the elevator your mind thinks, “I can’t believe fools climb the stairs of this thing...they must crazy.”

As I get older though, there are more challenges I would love to conquer. As a father, there is no better feeling than having your children look up to you, like you’re a true Super Human Hero.

It also gives them ammo to brag about their Pops to the crew, which of course will move them up the ladder of respect.

When the opportunity came to climb the stairs of the CN Tower, one of the world’s tallest free standing structures, and raise money for WWF Canada at the same time, I couldn’t pass it up.

I participated in the Team Challenge with Workopolis. I didn’t know my teammates at first, but this gave us a chance to bond.

There were three of us climbing, Merv, our resident boxer, runner and all around amazing guy; Jack, the veteran, who has made the climb before and me.

My strategy was to just get up the 144 FLOORS without stopping, no matter what time. Their strategy; break the record of 07:52 which was set in 1989 by Brendan Keenoy. GOOD LUCK!

As we edged closer our excitement grew. We had digested our Jet Fuel Funk Formula from Infinit Nutrition, so we were anxious to reach the top. When we reached the start, the resident CN Tower climber gave us his words of wisdom “Pace yourselves boys, this is not a race. You don’t want to burn out” and we’re off!

I ran up the first 5 floors not knowing what to expect and then quickly realized if I wanted to climb 144 floors I had better pace myself. Once you entered the stairway there was no turning back. There are no doors where you can let yourself out. There are no windows where you can view Toronto’s beautiful skyline. There is no secret escape hatch where those who have to TAP out can leave


We did have the amazing folks of the Toronto EMS, giving us encouragement on every 20 floors and ensuring our safety.

As I paced up the stairs, it seemed to become easier. Mentally I was focused and my rhythm seemed flawless. The higher I climbed, I saw more people stopping to catch their breath on the landings. And I can’t forget about the floors with the puke in the corners.

At one point, around floor 75, It became so easy. I just concentrated on my routine...walked up each step, and when I got to the landing, walked along the outside railing. It was I got closer; I started to get excited, knowing that there were 30...then 20...then 10 floors left. I wanted to Sprint to the finish, but there were just too many people.

3...2...1...I DID IT...I climbed the CN Tower.

I pass it every day on the way to work. I use it as a landmark. I used to take visiting beach volleyball pros to it. Gosh, my MOM saw it being built.


As I walked out of the stairwell, there were a plethora of cameras and people cheering your accomplishment. I felt like I was walking the RED CARPET at the Oscars and I milked every minute of it.

Our times you ask?

Our team was ranked 57th out 283 and overall there were 1745 individual climbers in the Team Challenge 57. Workopolis (00:19:55)

Mervin Atmosfera 00:17:51 – Individual 351
Jack Gawen 00:19:08 – Individual 446
Funk Roberts 00:22:37 – Individual 926

Funk Roberts
Don't Rush the Beat!

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