Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Stairs

Ruth watched some show last night about losing weight, diet and exercise. The point of the show was, you can't lose weight without exercise. Diet is important but when each person chose a different diet program they each needed exercise.

I'm not fat by any means. But I have noticed that I'm developing just a little, if imperceptible, gut. I've cut out the cheese omelets each morning for breakfast and replaced them with oatmeal. This has helped. I wore a little pedometer that told me I was averaging only two miles a day. Five miles a day is recommended.

So I get this great idea of walking up the stairs when I get to work. That's a very simple way of getting exercise. Avoid the elevator and take the risers. This morning I THOUGHT about it but couldn't bring myself to try it so early in the morning. So this afternoon I gave it a whirl.

When I got back from lunch I first had to find the stairs. They were tucked away around the corner. They were not even well marked. Anyway I started behind a big woman so I thought this would be a breeze. I thought I could just get sucked along by her draft. Did I mention she was BIG? But after just one flight she was gone and I couldn't keep up. This is when I knew I was doomed.

By the fifth floor I was breathing heavily. At least, I think that was my breathing. Everything became a distant echo. My eyes started blurring and I found myself grasping the handrail. Since the parking garage is on the fourth floor where I started, this was not a good sign. My cube is on eleven.

By floor seven I was breathing very heavy, my legs were tightening, and I started slowing. I felt like I was seventy years old. Well, I've never been seventy, but if I were, I'm sure that's the way I would feel.

By the ninth floor I considered crawling to the elevator doors. Even if I couldn't reach the button, perhaps someone would see my condition and press the button for me. I was having serious trouble with the legs. They didn't feel like they belonged to me. My heart was pounding so strongly I think I popped a shirt button on my chest.

On the last flight I could only focus on the door. By this time I felt like a marathon runner crossing the 26 kilometer finish line. I expected crowds to roar as I tugged on the door but all was quite. I became embarrassingly aware of how heavy I was breathing as I passed the cubes and so breathed sparingly and through my mouth. I plopped down into my chair when I finally reached my desk after climbing 207 steps.

Whose idea was this anyway? Who says we even need exercise? Can't we just sit at our cubes and type? At lease that's some kind of exercise. It's got to be better than nothing.

I consider exercise vulgar. It makes people smell. - Alec Yuill Thornton