Stairs and I have had a love/hate relationship my entire life. My mom said that I fell down an entire flight (twice!) before I was 2 years old. Please don’t think her neglectful…from what I understand, she had a stair gate in place and my uncle forgot to fasten it behind him after a visit.
Anyway, those early trips (pun intended) have warped my opinion of stairs ever since.
When I was 5 years old, my mom and I were shopping in Shillitos. Hey, all you Lexingtonians, do you remember Shillitos? It’s now the Fayette Mall Macy’s. Anyway, they had escalators, and I was fascinated. One day I was on the second floor with my mom, and I was at the top of the “UP” escalator, watching a woman travel up towards me. I looked down at the base to the handrail, and saw a red button that said “Stop”.
You know where this is going, don’t you?
Yes, I pushed that button and stopped the escalator. And then I watched the woman have to walk up the rest of the way. Apparently this was funny to me at the time. My mother was not happy, and yes, she spanked me once we got home. It seems like I remember her chuckling nervously as we left the store.
Fast forward a few years. Like most, I went to high school with a second level, and I had to climb or descend those steps several times per day. This is where I learned that you can fall UP steps as well as fall down them.
In college, I lived on the 3rd floor of a 3-story dorm with no elevator. I got more comfortable with stairs, but I’ve never been one who could swiftly go down them. I’m very cautious and hold onto the rails. If there are no rails, I get all nervous and jittery because those old fears of falling come back to me.
By now you must be wondering where this is going. I’ll get there.
One of the reasons I’m on a journey to eat healthier, lose weight and become more active is
because one day I started thinking about the people who were in the twin towers on 9/11. They all had to walk down the steps to escape. Some of them had to descend 100 flights or more. I started thinking that, in my current shape; I don’t know that I’d have been able to do that.
Would that have meant doom for me? Would I have been putting rescuers’ lives in danger? Would people have been held up because of me? Those thoughts disturbed me. The answer? Become healthier so that I’d feel more confident taking care of myself.
Stair climbing is also a fantastic form of exercise, if your knees can handle it. (Be sure to check with your doctor first.) I follow another blog, called msbitchcakes.blogspot.com. The writer, Sheryl, is a Weight Watcher who’s lost 80 pounds and has become this incredible athlete. Yesterday, she ran the steps of the Empire State Building in a fundraiser for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. She ran up 86 flights of steps! In under 22 minutes! What inspiration!
So I’m going to add to my list of goals, to start climbing stairs. Not only for exercise, but also to conquer my fear of the dreaded stairs. Now I just need to find a place to climb – there’s not a building with over 3 stories where I live!
I have a place to start, though. I work on the second floor. Hello, stairs!
Does anyone know where I can find a tall building? Contact me at Joann@georgetownbariatrics.com.