Skinny Daily Post


I visited Pittsburgh, my husband’s home ground, last week. Dear friends offered up tickets so we could see my father-in-law’s old team, the Pitt Panthers, squish William & Mary on Pitt’s new court.

The Petersen Events Center is a beautiful new facility. Not a bad seat in the house. This translates to seats set on 45-degree planes. And that means walking up and down those stairs. And up and down, and up. While this kind of terrain is pretty comfortable to native Pittsburghers, I live in flat country, where ups and downs can generally be avoided.

Running to the restroom during timeouts meant sprinting those stairs. Many stairs. Many. I lost count. Getting to the top, I was aware of my heart beating a little harder, but more than anything I was aware of what I wasn’t doing.

I wasn’t clamping my lips to cover openly panting and wheezing.
I wasn’t blacking out around the edges or seeing stars.
I wasn’t looking for a post to coolly lean into while my legs recovered.
I wasn’t sweating.
I wasn’t shaking.
I did not stop in the middle to pretend to take in the view from there.
I wasn’t coughing.

In short, I wasn’t doing all the things that 100 extra pounds on my frame made me do every time I climbed even a short flight of stairs.

Now I remember stairs. I remember losing my breath reaching the top of even my little 13-step flight in my old home, every time. I remember sitting in the middle of that same short flight to recover when a cold or low blood sugar would knock me down mid-climb.

I lived in fear of the steep. When traveling, the opportunity to climb an extra set of stairs into a tower to catch a view was out of the question. Kid stuff. I would route around hills, pyramids, switchbacks, canyons. I chose seats near the tops of stadiums, or took elevators to the bottom. I bought a house with no stairs. No basement. No down, and most importantly, no up.

So at this Pitt game, while Pitt squashed their opponents, I demoralized those stairs. I’m taking extra flights of stairs this week every chance I get, just to celebrate. Maybe get in a little time on the stairmaster too.

It’s good to climb up high. You can see so much more.

The View from the Top of Petersen
Calorie Counting, Stair Climbing vs. Elevatoring, ESPN

7 thoughts on “Stair Master

  1. Melinda Young says:

    Julie: What a great find this site is! Saw the article in GR Press and had to give it a whirl! I’m signing up to catch your motivation anything to be able to do my 3 flights of stairs without huffing and puffing at each flight! Are there also recipes within your site?
    Thanks I appreciate your humor and stick-to-it attitude!

  2. Joel Bair says:

    Nice job, Julie. You oughtta register your trademark.

  3. Renee says:

    Last December I went on an elevator strike. Since then, I have taken the stairs @ work (4 flights) and @ home (2 flights) every day. I even fill my water bottle and use the restrooms on another floor to force myself to take the stairs more often.

    I’m aiming to make a stair workout of the 70 steps in my apt complex. I tried it last Sunday but I’m not that fit yet. However I am fit enough to jog up the 2 flights that used to kill me. Plus at work I am no longer wiped out by the time I reach my desk.

    Hoorah Stairs!

  4. Brenda says:

    Hi, I just saw your article in the GR Press and decided that now is the time for me to start getting in shape. Joined Weight Watchers just today, but only have paid so far. Plan on going for the first time tomorrow (I think) Have always had excuses in the past. Today is my birthday, and I decided that this is going to be a whole new year. Thanks for the article in the Press, it pushed me into it.

  5. Linda says:

    Wow, do I see myself in your stair master piece. You see I have lost 67 lbs in the past 10 months and also realize that stairs do not make me wheeze and cough. I too avoided them whenever I could and sat back while others enjoyed the hikes in the woods and trails to the lookout towers while on vacation. My knees stopped hurting me after I lost the first 25 lbs. My husband and I were looking at new houses that had mainfloor laundry because my knee hurt too bad to carry the laundry up and down.
    I said on my 52nd birthday last February. "Linda you are only 52 years old and you had better do something about your weight now before you end up
    living like you are 72. So I started the Atkins diet and have loved every minute and every pound that came off. I still have about 20 to go and I know I will do it.

  6. cherrie says:

    hey babe.. it’s nice reading ur entries.. it just keep me coming back.. yeah.. vanity is my sin.. keeping slim is my goal.. hee.. yup stairs is a gd method… thanks for all those nice entries… stay pretty.. sexy and toneed!! 🙂

  7. JuJu says:

    Hi folks. Thanks, West Michigan, for checking in. Some quick responses:

    Melinda: You’ll get to the top. Recipes come as often as I can make them, and you’ll find them under "Eating." Not all entries have recipies, but many do.

    Joel: Mary’s been there, done that. But thanks for mentioning it. Folks, if you haven’t registered YOUR trademarks, see Joel’s firm.

    Renee! Love your site! Love the concept! You’re a genius. And the 70-steps challenge is a great one. I have a long flight near my home. Too cold right now, but it taunts me every time I drive by. Maybe I’ll take that one on as my personal challenge.

    Brenda: Happy birthday. What a great present to give yourself. Hope your WW meeting was terrific.

    Linda: What a great success story! And they say 50 is the new 40, right? I’m willing to go along with that. I’m so happy for you that you found a method that works for you.

    Cherrie: Vanity is as vanity does. I’m no longer convinced getting slim and toned is a sin at all. It makes it possible for us to stick around and have the energy to do good works. How’s that for an argument? Love your site.

    G.R. Press readers, a reminder to submit your questions to with skinnydaily in the subject line. Thanks for dropping in.

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