• Sally Kalksma

Reevaluate & Re-adjust

The most prestigious stair climb in the world, the 43rd Annual Empire State Building Run-Up was scheduled for tonight but, like many events this year was canceled. In years past, I have had the honor of competing in this invite-only race 6 times. Every year I would train specifically to ensure my best performance for this race. My work-outs were designed for three months around this 86-floor 1576 step race to the top of the most iconic building in the world. My eating habits, my sleep patterns, even my social life were all centered around this one race. Now it is canceled.


I had to make some sacrifices and set goals over the last few months to reach my peak performance. The race itself was not the only goal. I had different milestones I wanted to reach in my training leading up to this race. If I didn’t hit that specific milestone, I would evaluate why and readjust so I could be on track to hit my final goal, the race itself.

Did I ever not reach my goals? Yes. Would I feel upset? Very. But I used this disappointment to motivate me to try harder next time, and a frequent result would be that I would perform better each time.


Not reaching your goals should not deter you from setting them. It should not stop you but motivate you. You might learn from the struggle it takes to create change. During my training, I often have to take a step back and reflect on WHY I was participating in this race, my ultimate training goal. For me, I wanted to do my best but it just wasn’t about me. I was part of a team. I was doing this race to support the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, an organization that means so much to me since I have Multiple Myeloma. I wanted to do this race for every cancer patient, not just those affected by Multiple Myeloma. I wanted to show them by example that you can still live a very fulfilling and active life. You can still go on despite your illness. You just need to readjust your mindset and set goals, even small ones. Doing this race each year also motivates me to reach out to the caregivers and family members who at times also find it difficult to smile, and persuade them to reevaluate what brings them happiness each day.

For all the reasons above, I realized that the ESBRU is more than just the race to me. It's about so much more and most of the goals I have leading up to the ultimate goal are equally as fulfilling. So, despite the Empire State Building Run-Up being postponed due to the pandemic, I will still be able to reach my goals. Like any setback in life, I just had to reevaluate the situation, then re-adjust my perspective. Although I don’t have access to a Manhattan building to train in I can still workout. Just because there is no race, I can still set goals and cross their finish line. Most importantly, I can still support those with cancer.


Last year I ran the ESBRU with my daughter, Dana. We tied for first in our division! We’ve done this race twice before together and she had done it another time in my name when I was in the hospital for treatment. Enjoy!


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