Leland Jay

Do you go by a nickname?  I write music and have done a couple of tongue-in-cheek rap songs about stair climbing, so Jeff [Dinkin] calls me “LL Stair J.”

Birthdate: 20 December 1968

What is your occupation? Manufactured Home Dealer/Broker

What/when was your first climb? US Bank bldg Los Angeles in 2009

How many climbs have you completed? The Scale the Strat 2015 in Las Vegas was my 20th

Why/how did you start? I was looking for a new sport that didn’t require a lot of time away from my kids. I didn’t want to play golf.

Do you have a favorite climb? Why? I like the 55-story Figueroa at Wilshire climb the best because the steps are only 6.8 inches tall and I notice that my legs don’t fatigue as quickly. The steps are also made of stamped steel, which I love, and that makes them more bouncy. The stairwell is narrow enough for me to use both railings, which is what I prefer as opposed to only using the inside railing. I should also say that Scale the Strat in Las Vegas holds a special place in my heart. A dear friend of mine passed away 2 days before that climb in 2013, so that climb will always have special significance to me as I honor and remember him each year.

Least favorite climb? Why? The AON Los Angeles is technically difficult, and it is difficult for me to establish any sort of rhythm climbing up that building. The steps are big and made of concrete, and the stairwell has only inside railings.

Why do you climb? Well, I don’t play soccer anymore, and running is too hard on me. With stairclimbing, there are many more benefits to my physical and mental health than I could have ever imagined. I also want to live to be 107 years old so I can see the tricentennial of the United States of America.

Are there other sports you’re passionate about? I used to play indoor soccer 2-3x a week in competitive leagues until I was about 40.

Did you have injuries or issues you needed to overcome to climb? I tore my quadricep (rectus femor) muscle playing soccer several years ago and still have substantial scar tissue, but it hasn’t inhibited me from climbing.

How do you train? I go to the gym twice a week for strength and conditioning. I live in Orange County so there aren’t any tall buildings to practice in. There is a 6 story parking garage in my hometown that I run up and down. When I can, I’ll drive to Laguna Beach to train at 1000 steps beach (which is actually 219 steps according to my count). I’ll train on the Jacob’s Ladder, and when the Los Angeles stairclimb events offer practice climbs downtown, I will drive up there to train when I can.

Do you have a special relationship with any of your step-siblings? I just love ‘em all.

Who inspires you? Ned Greene is 70 years old and about my height (5’3”). He did the Willis Tower 103 floors in 17:40. He beat me in the San Diego 20-floor sprint last year with a time of 2:18. He is showing me what can be done at age 70.

Do you have a good luck charm or any superstitions or pre-race rituals? No. I don’t believe in that stuff.

What's on your iPod during workouts/competitions? 100% EDM (electronic dance music). I find that most EDM tunes are around 120bpm so if you are stepping on beats 2 and 4, you’re right around 60bpm which is perfect for my long workouts on the Jacob’s Ladder or jogging in my neighborhood. As a keyboardist, I like that the music is mostly keyboard based. BT, Above & Beyond, Zedd, Mat Zo

Do you have a website or blog for those interested in learning more about you? Just my FB page.

If we had numbers on our jerseys, what would your number be? 4. My number in soccer.

What would you like to tell others about yourself and your experience with stair climbing that might inspire them in their lives? I guess I’d just like to say that the beauty of stairclimbing is that people of all shapes and sizes can excel at this sport. It’s all about power to weight ratio, and there are some girls who are petite (much smaller than me), who are blazing fast and can beat most of the guys. It’s also a sport that you can continue to do later in life, and as Ned Greene has shown, you can be very competitive in your 70s if that’s what you want.