Taking the Stairs

I used to be good at something, or at least I think I was. Everyone has to be good at something at some point or another in their life, and I used to always be good at one thing. Taking the stairs.

I remember one time reading an article – or watching some YouTube video – about how a small way to improve your health and fitness was to start taking the stairs. You had to make the conscious decision on a daily basis to switch the elevator or escalator out for the stairs. Sure, it’s just taking the stairs and not making changes to your diet or setting up an exercise regime. It isn’t going to magically make you skinner or toned. But that wasn’t the point of it. You see, taking the stairs is a small and negotiable change. Making one small change that you can conquer because as you come face to face with each new change, they’ll get harder and bigger.

You wake up on a daily basis with a whole world to take on. You’re not alone in that fact. What you are alone in is the decisions you make, the person you choose to be. That is solely and 100% on you. So when you’re ready for a change or to shake things up or improve in some aspect of your life, you start looking for the things that will make you feel successful. You start envisioning the thing you want to be, where you want to go and how to accomplish those things. You start looking for inspiring things and people and words and you say to yourself “if they can do it, I can do it.” It’s just that easy.

And then you hit your first failure.

At first, it is crippling. You get angry and you tell yourself how completely moronic you are for even thinking it could be “just that easy.” For some people, that’s their out; one and done. It’s also easy to be the victim of your own ideas. It’s easy to say “what was so wrong with me before?” And that is just it. Nothing was wrong with you before. But for some reason, you wanted to be more or accomplish more and that doesn’t make you less at your start. So you try again…

You see…taking the stairs is a metaphor and it’s a challenge. When you take the stairs, you’re telling yourself I made a good decision and you take the first step. Halfway up, your heart is racing and you can hear it pounding in your ears. You’re a little sweaty now, maybe people will notice. But you are halfway up from where you started and halfway down from where you want to be. So you take the next step. When you reach the top, you’ve stop counting how many more flights you have left at some point, your breathing is starting to level out and your legs burn. And yet, you realize you did something for you today. You decided whatever it was standing in your way at the bottom wasn’t as big halfway up that became forgotten at the top.

What they don’t tell you is – everyone has a starting point. Somewhere they have to begin their story or end it to start anew. It doesn’t always feel good and somedays you just don’t want to do it but you see the elevator at the end of the hall and you remind yourself that today it’s just a few more steps than it was yesterday but you did it then. You can do it now.

So maybe I am still really good at something…I had a really bad week of half-ass working out, I didn’t eat very well, I got buried in my head and when a pair of pants I bought were just too snug, I realized I had to return them. I rounded the corner, knowing I was going to pass at least two elevators. I knew I had six flights up to my floor and the stairwell was cold.

I took the stairs.

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