Wednesday, June 13, 2012

i'll take the stairs

t'day as i was leaving our admin office downtown,
i was taking the outdoor stairs (like i always do),
and mannnn it was warm t'day.
(our office is on the 10th floor).
by the time i got to the bottom,
i'm sure my face was beet red.
i was in 3 inch heels,
boyfriend trousers, a tank, a blouse & a blazer.
i was carrying my laptop bag,
my (oversized) purse (stuffed with books and planners and things about france),
my lunch bag full of snacks,
and 2 drinks (an iced coffee & a water).

as i was turning into the parking garage,
(panting i'm sure),
i ran into one of my clinical directors.
"good lord, is the elevator broken?- cuz i'm going home!"
"oh no," i responded, "i just prefer the stairs."
"a phobia? elevator trauma?"
(these are half jokes/ half real comments in my profession).
...and then i told him the following story:

about 10 years ago i ran into a man
who was in a wheelchair.
we started chatting
and i found out that he used to be sooo active.
like crazy mountain climber- white water rafting active.
i asked him if there was one thing,
any one thing he could do again with legs,
what would it be?
he said, "take the stairs. i'd always take the stairs."
"what?! -out of everything? why?"
he told me that it wasn't the crazy things he missed,
it was the day to day things.
he said he would give anything just to 'take the stairs' again.
that he never realized he took his legs for granted.
so- from that point forward, 
i told myself that as long as i had legs,
(and i was able)
i would take the stairs.
it was some way that i could honor this man's life,
and be reminded of the things that i take for granted.
it could be a way to say, 
"thank you for my legs."
and for aches and pains that remind me that i am fully alive.

"so i take the stairs," i told my CCD.

he just stared at me.
finally he said, "it's hot, so i'm going to take the elevator up, 
but i'll think about that story, and be grateful for my legs."
"that's great," i said, and walked to my car.

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