Up and Down the Stairs

Up and down the stairs -- wasn't that the name of a cheesy British TV drama in the 70's? Or, maybe it was Upstairs, Downstairs. Let me google that...be right back.

By golly my memory is good, Upstairs, Downstairs was a British drama that ran from 1971 to 1975. It depicted the lives of the servants downstairs and the masters upstairs during the early part of the twentieth century, although I'm sure there was plenty of shenanigans going on in between.

Upstairs, downstairs. Up and down the stairs I went, 40 times today in just under 12 minutes, my calves feeling they were going to fall off my hips, stiff, sore. I really worked up quite a sweat in 12 minutes, surprising really. This improvised exercise routine in lieu of being able to escape to the gym is very different from running on the treadmill or around the track. The very essence of gravity adds a whole different dimension when traversing 15 steps over and over again.

My boys tolerate the huffing and puffing as well as the noise as I clop my way through 40 round tours of the back stairs.

I remember doing the 12 minute run back in elementary school. I have no recollection why they chose 12 minutes and what the significance was, only that it was murderous and dreaded by all but the most dedicated long distance runners.

In the lead up to the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, our school participated in a long distance running incentive program. You earned points by running during recess and noon hour, round and round the Assiniboine School yard, a distance akin to that of an Olympic track. I couldn't be bothered, but my older brother Keith was obsessive and logged an incredible amount of points. Over 30 years later I wonder what the prizes were that motivated him to keep running and running? Perhaps it wasn't about the prizes at all. Perhaps it was something deeper, something similar to what keeps me going up and down the stairs.

January 17, 2010 - 203 pounds, 29.5% body fat


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