The Skinny Daily Post™

Short, daily essays on weight loss and fitness
from a really average woman who lost 100 lbs.
and works every day to keep it off.

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Thursday, January 08, 2004  

Stair Master
I do not fear the steep

I visited Pittsburgh, my husband's home ground, last week. Dear friends offered up tickets so we could see my father-in-law's old team, the Pitt Panthers, squish William & Mary on Pitt's new court.

The Petersen Events Center is a beautiful new facility. Not a bad seat in the house. This translates to seats set on 45-degree planes. And that means walking up and down those stairs. And up and down, and up. While this kind of terrain is pretty comfortable to native Pittsburghers, I live in flat country, where ups and downs can generally be avoided.

Running to the restroom during timeouts meant sprinting those stairs. Many stairs. Many. I lost count. Getting to the top, I was aware of my heart beating a little harder, but more than anything I was aware of what I wasn't doing.

I wasn't clamping my lips to cover openly panting and wheezing.
I wasn't blacking out around the edges or seeing stars.
I wasn't looking for a post to coolly lean into while my legs recovered.
I wasn't sweating.
I wasn't shaking.
I did not stop in the middle to pretend to take in the view from there.
I wasn't coughing.

In short, I wasn't doing all the things that 100 extra pounds on my frame made me do every time I climbed even a short flight of stairs.

Now I remember stairs. I remember losing my breath reaching the top of even my little 13-step flight in my old home, every time. I remember sitting in the middle of that same short flight to recover when a cold or low blood sugar would knock me down mid-climb.

I lived in fear of the steep. When traveling, the opportunity to climb an extra set of stairs into a tower to catch a view was out of the question. Kid stuff. I would route around hills, pyramids, switchbacks, canyons. I chose seats near the tops of stadiums, or took elevators to the bottom. I bought a house with no stairs. No basement. No down, and most importantly, no up.

So at this Pitt game, while Pitt squashed their opponents, I demoralized those stairs. I'm taking extra flights of stairs this week every chance I get, just to celebrate. Maybe get in a little time on the stairmaster too.

It's good to climb up high. You can see so much more.

The View from the Top of Petersen
Calorie Counting, Stair Climbing vs. Elevatoring, ESPN

posted by Julie |
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