MHS students run stairs in remembrance of 9/11
A Merrill High School class paid tribute to the heroes of 9/11 by attempting to run up 2,226 stairs, equal to the number of stairs in one of the World Trade Center towers.
“That’s basically like running a mile on stairs,” said teacher Jake Schalow, who got the idea from something he’d seen on social media last year.
Schalow and the 25 students in his Intro to Strength and Conditioning class attempted the feat on the Jay Stadium bleachers Sept. 11. Schalow had calculated that it would take 68 trips up and down the bleachers to equal the goal. He made the activity optional, but all the students stepped up.
“We had about 30 minutes out there and they really had to go to get it done in that amount of time,” Schalow said. About one third of the students actually completed all the steps, but what really impressed Schalow is that they all tried.
Most of the students weren’t even born yet when terrorists crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. More than 2,600 people died in the attacks, including 343 firefighters and 71 law enforcement officers.
Schalow remembers being in the fourth grade, about to get into the lunch line at school, when news of the attacks broke. However, none of his students are old enough to have any personal recollection of that day.
“Most of them weren’t even born when the attacks happened,” Schalow said. “I thought it was cool that the kids still wanted to do it, even though it didn’t really affect them.”
While conditioning days in the class bring all sorts of physical challenges, the 9/11 tribute is one the students will remember.
“It’s probably the hardest thing we’ve done and it may be the toughest thing we do all year,” Schalow said.