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Going up

Monday 7/31/23

It was eleven years ago Saturday that I had my little adventure on my first and only day to date in California, when I went to San Francisco for ESPN and suffered a stroke. By coincidence, the Red Sox were playing in San Francisco this past weekend so watching on TV I was actually looking at the ballpark on the anniversary of that afternoon. I don't normally watch Giants games.


I have remade myself in so many ways. I have made myself into so many things that I was not.


Every day last week save Thursday and Friday, I ran 3000 stairs, including the morning after that night when I didn't sleep at all. As weeks start for me on Saturdays, I got back to it a couple days ago because I did not want to give into the funk of this hell and start a new week off the wrong way. That's giving in to these bigots, and I won't because I won't get to where I am going if I do.


Was scorching and it was very difficult to run only 3000 stairs. I had a bigger goal in mind, but that heat knocked me back. There's the temperature itself. The humidity. And also the applied heat of the sun on skin. July is the worst month for stair running. But you must go out there and do them, or you won't do as well in other months.


This morning I ran another 3000 stairs at City Hall after writing a 1600 word preface for a book I may or may not be doing. Much time and energy has been given over to thinking about whether or not to do this book over the last five days. Also put some words to something else, that would pertain to the book.


Yesterday the temperature dropped considerably, so I took advantage of that by running 10,000 stairs--straight, without stopping--and the walking nine miles, doing my 100 push-ups, and taking a turn in the Monument for good measure because I was over there anyway. Was talking to my mom as I did that, and she didn't even know. I am that guy who casually goes up the stairs talking on the phone while people are bent over trying to catch their breath.


The world needs a book from about stairs. Stairs are not just stairs to me. A book about the philosophical side of stairs, the transformative power of stairs, the ability of stairs to inform how one thinks and sees the world, the physical aspect, the emotional, the spiritual, the history of stairs. It'd be a mix of memoir, guide, history, health book, but all kinds of health, and a narrative of endurance, and moving forward. As I said in these pages before, every set of stairs in the world is asking you the fundamental question of being alive: Do you want to go up, or do you want to go down? Stairs are never just stairs, unless you don't understand them.


Have been using the headband over the last week. Mixed results. Helps keep the sweat out of my eyes some, but there's still sweat in the eyes. If one is to find a photo of me from eleven years ago--and the time of that trip--one would see that I look like a different person. Stairs. Outside stairs, inside stairs.


As for that question: I answer it the same way every time.












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