One of the interesting things about my daily commute is the hill. New York City is not known for its hills. There’s a reason we have an area call Flatlands in Brooklyn and the magical phenomenon called Manhattanhenge which occurs a couple of times a year.. Then you travel north to upper Manhattan where there are inclines that can rival San Francisco. The train station where I exit my evening commute home just happens to be halfway to the bottom of one. There is even a simple marker in the park near one end of the station that notes the area as the highest natural elevation on Manhattan.
Suffice to say at over 400 feet deep it’s a long climb from the subway platform to the street level. Essentially, we are talking a five story tenement building climb.
Normally this is not an issue as there are escalators to help. Two going up and one down, plus a standard flights of stairs. A week ago the usual escalator that goes down went out of service for major repairs, scheduled to be back in service, I hope, next week. As a result, one of the usually two escalators going up, was switched to a down escalator. There was a reason for there being two escalators that went up. This station is a busy station. Two are needed for the volume of ridership that disembark at the station. Down to only one working up escalator the inevitable happened. It gave its all – and died. So this evening after a long day of work, I exit the train and just know by the number or people walking to the right instead of left that the up escalator is broken. This has happened no less than five times last year that I can recall.
Granted, I could walk to the other end of the station and take the elevator, (yes the station also has elevators), but then I would have to walk that same distance back to continue home. What I save in convenience and accessibility, I loose in time. I don’t consider the trade-off worth it, so I climb the steps.
When this happens I dubbed them my “Rocky” steps. For climbing them is very reminiscent of the Philadelphia Art Museum Steps the titular character had trouble climbing. For like Rocky and his steps at the beginning, I have yet to make it up the entire flight of steps without stopping at least twice. I’m faster than a couple of people, much more are faster than I, leaving my in the smoke of their speed. I have no shame, when I need to stop and catch my breath for a moment for a moment, I stop and wheeze and pant. As I stood at the bottom step and looked up at the daunting task ahead of me, I figured today was going to be no different.
Or so I thought…
Today, I plugged in my iPod grabbed a banister and started to climb. It was Drowning Pool and I trudging up the stairs. I didn’t look I simply climbed. I felt my first twinge telling me I was going to need to stop. I looked up and to my surprise I was more than three-quarters up the stairs!!
But… but… But How?!?!?
I had never made it that far up without stopping, I was not going to stop now! I continued climbing. My knees started complaining. I looked up and could have counted the steps if I stopped. I wasn’t stopping. I could easily count I had about a dozen steps left when my lungs started their wheeze.
Are you kidding me? Less than a dozen. Not so easy, let alone peasey, but…
Oh! My! God! I! Did! It!
No, I did not jump up and down like Rocky Balboa. 1- I was too out of breath and 2- while I’m sure many would have gotten the reference, 3 – I would have looked absolutely ridiculous in my suit and winter coat jumping up an down on the pavement.
I climb the steps without stopping! That’s not to say I am going to be able to do the same tomorrow if they’re still down. That’s not so say I will not pray that the escalator is working tomorrow.
But today – today….?
Gonna fly now
Flying high now
Gonna fly, fly, fly!!!!
Today is Day 5 of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge.
Come see how others are slicing it up today.