Taking the stairs
Monday, October 24, 2016
Several years ago, my daughter gave me a stair-stepping machine. The poor thing hasn't been put to use very often, but I finally decided to dig it out of my shed and dust it off because the weather has been decidedly rainy lately, and because I'm getting a little bored with walking the same old walks every day.
Since I like to name things, I've decided to name my stair stepper Bernie, after the roommate I shared an apartment with in New York (Bernadette) and with whom I climbed quite a few stairs. Also because I hope to burn calories and because I can definitely feel the burn in my legs when I get done stepping.
This morning Bernie and I did 100 steps. Not much, but it's a start. A hundred steps is the equivalent of the stairs in the store I worked at in England in 2006. I was up and down those stairs a lot during any given day, but the only time I had to climb from bottom to top was first thing in the morning.
According to the internet, the calories expended going up stairs is around 0.17 per step. Descending is only 0.05. Well, Bernie and I didn't descent the stairs at the store this morning, so I only burned about 17 calories. Better say no to that candy bar.
I decided to look on the internet and see what other stairs Bernie and I could aspire to climb. Our next goal is the tower of Pisa. 300 steps, ascending only, 51 calories. No candy bar yet.
The goal after that will be the Statue of Liberty, 354 stairs, 60.18 calories. Bernadette and I actually did climb the stairs at the Statue of Liberty, up and down, back in 1968. No elevators for us! No candy bar, either.
Next will be the Golden Gallery of St. Paul's cathedral in London. 528 stairs, 89.76 calories. I climbed up to the Golden Gallery in 2004. It was a lot harder than climbing stairs in 1968. Still no candy bar.
After that, Bernie and I will have to work hard to climb the Washington Monument. 898 stairs, 152.66 calories. Bernadette and I also climbed that monument in 1969 or so, up and down, for a total of 197.56 calories. Back then, though, I wasn't counting calories so much.
From there, Bernie and I will move on to the Gherkin, as it's nicknamed, in London. It's official name is 30 St Mary Axe. So much easier to call it the Gherkin. It's one of my favorite modern buildings. 1,037 stairs, 176.29 calories to ascend. No, I haven't done it.
Next will be the Empire State Building. I went to the top of the Empire State Building several times when I lived in New York, but never took the 1,576 stairs (267. 97 calories). Yay! Finally earned the candy bar, but too exhausted to eat it.
Next we'll visit the Eiffel tower, 1,710 stairs (290.7 calories), the Sears tower (2,109 stairs and 358.3 calories), and then we'll tackle the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai for 2,909 stairs and 494.53 calories. By then I think I will have earned my two candy bars.
If Bernie and I want a real challenge, we could climb the longest staircase in the world: the service stairway for the Niesenbahn Railway in Switzerland. 11,674 stair and 1,984.58 calories. That's 8 candy bars and a medivac helicopter, please. Is it even physically possible to climb that many stairs all in one shot? How long would it take? The staircase stretches for over a mile. I'll have to think about that one. I have a feeling either Bernie or I would die in the attempt. Maybe both. My quadriceps are on fire just thinking about it.
For now, I'll just set my sights on the tower of Pisa.