Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Training for the Crane

I'm pretty sure I'm borderline certifiable. And I'm pretty sure most of my co-workers are thinking I've crossed that border.

One of my more recent work assignments is the communications plan around the many construction projects happening at Saint Marys Hospital.  At one of the first meetings, the conversation turned to construction cranes since Benike Construction would be erecting two cranes to help with the projects.

Somehow, I'm sure without fully engaging my brain in the conversation, I perked-up and volunteered to do a video on the cranes, including going up in one.

I don't have a fear of heights, so I didn't think it would be that big of deal. Everyone at the meeting kept asking, "are you sure?" (Actually, they are still asking the question)

At a later meeting, while we were outside by the cranes, I realized that there isn't an elevator that will take me up to the top of the crane. In order to get to the top, I will need to CLIMB the crane.  I'm not sure of the exact height, but it clears the 10th floor of Mary Brigh by about 10/15 feet. Let's just say, it's about 12 stories tall.

Now, it's not about the height, but about the climb up. I'm not in shape to do this. To climb up, you're inside the crane structure and you climb a ladder then it comes to a landing and then you climb another ladder and so on.  In other words, it's both upper and lower body strength. And you have to climb down, too.

I wouldn't be alone. The safety director from Benike would be climbing right behind me. I jokingly said, "to catch me when I fall?"

"No, to talk you down when you freeze half-way up."

"Okay. That makes sense, I guess." 

Last week, the Rochester Fire Department did a training exercise on one of the cranes and I went to watch them. They climbed the tower in teams of two and it took them about 15 minutes to get to the top. I would guess that same climb will take me about 30 minutes, or 45 minutes if I add in time for the panic attacks.

Right now, I'm planning on sometime in June to do the climb. I may back out and I know that no one would think less of me if I do. But it's sort of a challenge, too. And I like challenges.

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