Charles Bower

Do you go by a nickname? Chuck, but some of my friends call me "doc."

Birthdate: 3 September 1966

What is your occupation? Physician

What/when was your first climb? February 2014, John Hancock, Chicago

How many climbs have you completed? about 50 [In two years! Charles is a maniac!]

Why/how did you start? One of my friends challenged me to do the Hancock as I was getting into better shape.  I started training, did the event, and the rest is history.

Do you have a favorite climb? Why? I have several.  I like the Willis Tower as an iconic building, the Cincinnati Vertical Mile for the sheer challenge, but my all time favorite was the European Grand Prix: 3 climbs in 3 days in 3 countries!  They were very well run events with great post race parties, and the participants were like family!

Least favorite climb? Why? Even though it was my first, I don't like Hustle up the Hancock because it is too much of a cattle drive.  

Why do you climb? Because it feels so good when you reach the top!  It's also a great way to stay in shape, and a great social experience.  I've made a lot of friends around the world!

Are there other sports you’re passionate about? Scuba diving, although it's really an activity.  I like to do triathons and running events as well.

Did you have injuries or issues you needed to overcome to climb? I was severely overweight and severely out of shape.  It was a scuba diving accident that motivated me to get into better shape.  After losing 100 pounds, I found out first hand that what everyone else has said was true:  the hardest part of weight loss is keeping it off!  Staying active with stair climbing helps me keep the weight off. I also had to deal with several running related injuries, mostly from doing too much, too soon.

How do you train? I live in a 23 floor building and work in a 15 floor building, so I train in the stairs there.  I also run regularly, and during the summer, swin and bike ride for triathlon training.

Do you have a special relationship with any of your step-siblings? None in particular, but I've developed a lot of great friendships and they're all like extended family.

Who inspires you? Syd [Arak].  He is in the shape I'd like to be in when I'm in my 70's!

Do you have a good luck charm or any superstitions or pre-race rituals?  I like to "corral" the building by running around the outside to warm up.  Also, if escalators are available, I like to warm up by running up the down escalator.

What's on your iPod during workouts/competitions? I don't use one.

Do you have a website or blog for those interested in learning more about you? Send me a facebook friend request.

If we had numbers on our jerseys, what would your number be? 7 for good luck!

What would you like to tell others about yourself and your experience with stair climbing that might inspire them in their lives? Just do it!  Try to take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.  Even a few floors a day will make a big heath difference.  The hardest part of any activity is getting started, and making the routine a habit.  When you don't feel like working out, try to at least do something, no matter how small.  It helps maintain the habit, and besides, after getting started, you may feel like doing more.  If you're short of time, a high intensity interval workout can be done in as little as 10 minutes.