Once I walked up three flights of stairs in the library. I always take the stairs.
Each floor is separated by 28 steps. Those 28 steps are divided by a landing halfway up. Each step is approximately 8″ tall.
I took 84 steps and ascended 672 inches.
When I stepped off of the first step and walked to the desk to ask a question I was met with this astonished yelp:
“I can’t believe you aren’t out of breath!”The ability to move, vertically or otherwise, under my own power is not worth remaking on. This is not a feat of strength. It was not a calculated attempt to impress. But impress it did!
It impressed because it this miraculous power of being able-bodied is in increasingly short supply. Not a day goes by that I don’t have to wait for someone to catch their breath because they walked all the way over to my desk from their computer.
This is sad, and worse still when it’s a chubby 10 year old puffing and panting.
We all have possessions that we care for and maintain. Why not apply the same pride of ownership to our bodies? These bodies are the only things we are unequivocally stuck with. There is only one way to leave them. In the meantime, why not care for them?
I suspect that one day people will exclaim with wonder when someone can rise from a chair without getting out of breath.
Being exceptional should require more than simply being able to move, breathe, and move from one place to another without a becoming shade of scarlet blooming beneath the skin.
Taking care of ourselves does not have to be difficult. I understand that there are emotional hurdles in play when we talk about body issues, food attachments, etc.
But let’s talk about execution, which is very simple: Being healthier–let’s just start with being healthier or stronger than we are right now–does not require a gym membership. It need not require heinous limitations on our food choices.
It simply requires one action to start with. Any will do, as long as it’s a step away from something that damages us in any small way.
For most of the people I spend my days with, I would simply urge one small thing to begin with: spend more time on the stairs than on the elevators. Even if it’s only 10 stairs a day to begin with.
Take the stairs. Today, find a way to be good to yourself.
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