Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Diary of a Three Day Stair Stepper

We stood silently in front of the yellow flyer that had been crudely taped to the elevator door. The corners had been ripped, evidence of the door’s frequent opening and closing.

“This is going to suck,” my neighbor finally said.

“Uh, yep.” I replied.

The elevator would be down for three days.



As a resident of the seventh floor, this was life altering. Suddenly I found myself creating a list of all the things I couldn’t do over the next three days. This list was compiled much quicker than I anticipated, but consisted of: Laundry. A week’s worth of grocery shopping. Bringing items that required two hands to carry into my apartment.

It was unreasonable to be asked to give up that list of three things for three days.

But since I’ve been regularly attending spin class, naturally I felt the same level of physical confidence going into this week as someone who’s been intensely training for American Ninja Warrior. I could climb seven flights of stairs multiple times a day.

Day 1

Already I’m over the time it takes me to get downstairs.  I don’t go home on my lunch break so I’m saved the midday climb. However, trekking home from the end of a long day at work, I momentarily forget the elevator is down until I see the exasperated face of a dog-owning tenant. “This is harder than I thought,” he says as he passes by me.

I start the climb and pass another resident around the third floor. “Seven, right?” she says. We’ve apparently taken to referring to each other by floor levels, like we’re from respective districts in the Hunger Games.

I solemnly nod my head and she replies grimly, “I feel you girl. Eight.”

Around floor five it hits me I may just die in the stairwell. What’s even more horrifying than death though is someone passing me in this panting, vulnerable state so I soldier onward until I see the seven.  I swing open the door and pray I don’t run into anyone.

When my boyfriend comes over later, I once again find myself close to death on the fifth floor. “Can you just carry me,” he calls from behind me. I laugh, but it comes out as a gush of air from my lungs followed by a cough. Like pioneers clinging to life during the harsh winter, I feel like this challenge will only strengthen our love for one another.

Day 2

I leave for work and find someone resting in the lobby. “Taking a rest,” he says. I nod understandably and walk out into the morning fog. He looks out the window, surely thinking of fonder times when he didn’t have to take a rest in the lobby.  I imagine him writing a Civil War-style letter to the girl he had to leave behind upstairs.  

Dearest Gwendolyn,

I am afraid I have fallen under a terrible spell of lethargy and do not know if I have the strength to carry myself upstairs. I pray that someone stronger than myself will deliver these words to you.

With all my love,


Hard times have fallen upon us. These are dark days.

I go straight from work to school. When I come home (following some added challenges courtesy of my vehicle) I lead my friend to the staircase and he trips immediately as we begin our ascent. I keep going – “Be careful,” I call behind me. I’ve been hardened by my experiences. I’m like that old guy from every adventure movie who’s too calloused to react to others’ naivety. One thing I’ve learned is you just keep going.

Day 3

I find a hairnet between the fifth and fourth floor. I’m so overcome with curiosity that I trip and almost tumble forward down the stairs.  Like, where did it come from? Does someone moonlight as a lunch lady?

The day at work is long but unlike yesterday, I do not forget I have to climb the stairs when I come home. I’m actually already calculating the amount of times this will happen. Once when I first get home, then again after I get home from spin class, one more time after my boyfriend comes over and then shit, I remember we wanted to get takeout, so that’s a total of four trips up and down seven flights of stairs.

I’m mentally preparing myself for this harsh reality when I enter the lobby of my apartment building. And then I hear it – the distinct whooshing of elevator cables moving (I’m actually not sure if the cables are actually making that noise, but in my mind, that’s what is happening.)

There’s a fresh pink piece of paper taped to the door. Elevator is up and running.  I delightfully hit the up arrow and wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And eventually give up because it takes too long and just take the damn stairs instead.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Obligatory New Year's Post

Hey guys.

I'm writing you from my couch as I, for whatever weird reason, have fallen victim to CMT's top 20 countdown. And, I don't even like this music. But what I do like are the music videos and how unapologetically terrible they are. Cue girl in white cotton dress wearing cowboy boots while this guy sings/stalks her from a tractor. Like, hey guy, you're weird. Get back to work. Why are you singing? Why's this girl frolicking in a field that's clearly about to be plowed? None of this makes sense--this is not real life.

Real life is sitting in front of your TV while your severely swollen ankle is on ice because you sprained it on New Year's Eve. Seriously. I had wonderful plans of going to spin class, you know, kicking the year off right and instead my foot looks like it belongs to the ugly step-sister who's trying to shove it into the dainty glass slipper.

Cute. Cankles are so cute, right? I hear they're trending for 2015.

Since I am currently in a position on my couch that can only be described with the hashtag #whateverwherearethecheetos, I figured I'd do something semi-productive like blog.

So, happy new year. 2015, where did you even come from? I mean, it's 10 years since I graduated high school. TEN YEARS.


How did that even happen? How did I become 28? Time is a strange thing. Especially this past year, with all the changes I've made and the ones that have made me, it seems like days, weeks, months are now defined by deadlines and meetings and plans I scribble down in planners because I actually need planners now. And then suddenly, it's 2015 and I need a new one.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy. Actually happier than I've been in a long time, but I really feel sad that things seem to be just a blur of happenings anymore. My mother warned me about this--the older you get, the quicker things pass you by.

And that terrifies me.

So, my resolution for this year is not going to be the usual (even though, once this fat-faced, ugly step sister cankle heals itself, I am at that spin class!), instead I'm opting for actually taking time to do things I want to do. Seriously. And I know that sounds cliche, but once you really sit down and think about everything we do on a daily basis, how much of it is exactly what you want?

Here's to writing in fro-yo and Food Network Magazine time into your planner. Mini hikes so you can pretend you're as badass as Cheryl Strayed. Or even blogging, and not because your ankle is fat and misshapen, but because you actually make the time to do it.

Here's to 2015--make it your year, y'all! Even if it's just twenty minutes at a time.