Friday, May 22, 2009
Stairs at the Gym
There are two places at my gym where people have conversations. The dressing room and the stairs. Dressing room conversations are about the new teachers, and social topics. Stairs conversations are about exercise. My gym is on 3 floors of a downtown office building. The building also has a hotel, a food gallery, medical offices, business offices and a parking lot. There are elevators if you don't want to take the stairs. I figure -- it's a gym. I come here to exercise. Yes, I have stairs in my home, but why miss out on any opportunity to exercise. I like to take stairs two-at-a-time and when I'm climbing 3 flights, I can get a good rhythm going. My Pilates class is 3 flights up from the changing room. On the stairs, I find that far more women than men like to take stairs two-at-a-time. We do it for our arthritic hips, or because a physics teacher once said it was good leverage, or because it's a challenging exercise, or because we're climbing with somebody else who is doing it and we're giggling because the guys (even young ones) stare at us like we're crazy. Several women tell me they've avoided hip replacement surgery that their doctors recommended. They don't just climb stairs -- they do yoga, Pilates, swimming, weight lifting, and stretching. Gray-haired grannies taking two steps at a time. Seems like a good metaphor.