There’s Something for Everyone at Hustle Chicago 2019

Whether you are a fitness buff, a philanthropic soul, or would do anything your friends tag you in on Facebook—there’s something for everyone at Hustle Chicago 2019.

In its 22nd year, Hustle Chicago continues to attract thousands of participants each February with different motivations for climbing to the top of the iconic building at 875 N Michigan Ave.

Here’s a peek at what inspires three Hustle climbers as they face those 94 floors.

Michelle Ryland: for a unique experience

“I’ve always had a thing for iconic buildings. I am a structural engineer after all, so I decided that I wanted to be able to say that I’ve climbed to the top of the Hancock ,” says Michelle, “I also love being able to do fun things that raise money for charity.”

In fall of 2011, Michelle Ryland was new to Chicago and her structural engineering job at Klein and Hoffman.

On one worksite, she had to walk up several flights of stairs to get to the roof. The building engineer was huffing and puffing by the time they got to the top, but Michelle was hardly fazed. Her coworker suggested she try to climb 1,632 stairs during Hustle.

She did, climbing three years in a row and building a team with fellow alumni from the University of Illinois Architecture School. “I love being part of something that people are so passionate about,” says Michelle of her Hustle experience.

Michelle Ryland and fellow alumni from University of Illinois Architecture School.

Michelle Ryland and fellow alumni from University of Illinois Architecture School.


Nicole Brown: to honor a loved one

“I think about the people I’m doing it for, knowing that they can’t physically do what I’m doing. That helps push me more.”

When Nicole Brown’s one-year-old baby was diagnosed with asthma, she wanted to help improve community lung health. Her mother also lives with COPD, motivating Nicole to support those living chronic lung disease.

A five-time Hustle climber, Nicole and her son Nicholas, who received RHA’s Next Gen Advocate award last summer, are invested in a future free of lung disease.

Woman holding baby in hospital with mask and gown on

Nicole holding Nicholas in the PICU

Read Nicole’s full story here.


Tom Earll: for yourself

“I sat up and took a deep breath. I got hit with this wave of emotion, and I burst into tears because I realized that this was my new normal,”

Tom Earll was told he had two months to live.

After a misdiagnosis of asthma that delayed treatment for years, Tom was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a lung disease that . He needed a lung transplant to live. Tom received a new pair of lungs on December 8, 2015. Last February, he climbed to the top of 875 N Michigan Ave. with his friends and family cheering him on in custom T-shirts that said, “Tom’ Second Wind.”

For Tom, being physically well enough to participate in events like Hustle Chicago is its own victory. Raising awareness and funds for IPF and other lung disease research is icing on the cake.

man walks daughter down the aisle

After his diagnosis, Tom was unsure he would make it to see his daugther get married. Here he is walking her down the aisle.

Read Tom’s full story.

Whether you climb for fitness goals, in honor of a loved one, or for the hype— your participation in Hustle Chicago 2019 helps people with lung disease live better lives by supporting Respiratory Health Association as we work for a future free of diseases like lung cancer, asthma, and COPD.

No matter what your reason, climb with us on February 24, 2019. Spots are available for the Omron Full Climb and the CBS 2 half climb.

Register today.