Climbing Stairs for Six Months is No Fun

“I am hardworking and a team player,” the girl in a black blazer said with such conviction. She was waiting for this interview.

I had a feeling the person on the phone pretends he’s found her ‘strengths’ interesting. They were not very original nor creative.

Hurrying my pace to the 11th floor (where my office sat), I left the 9th floor not wanting to hear her struggle next in making her ‘weaknesses’ positive.

For me, her weakness would be the lack of stealth.

Imagine if her current employer is a stairs-using weirdo like I am, and finds her job hunting while she’s supposed to be at work.

In ancient times, our less civilized ancestors invented the stairs in order to get to the high grounds as fast as they can for safety.
During the Middle Ages, stairs have become a symbol of mankind’s longing to reach and meet his creator. Stairs bridge heaven and earth.

In Indonesia’s Toraja myth, the very first Torajan people came down from heaven using stairs, which they then use as a communication medium with Puang Matua, or the Creator.

But stairs are not to be boxed in philosophy, myths or wanton sacrificial rites. They have also played a significant role in war tactics.

Stairs, as they turn out, make for a very strategic defense/offense platform.

Castles in the 14th century designed their spiral stairs ‘clockwise-ly’ to exploit the attacking swordsmen’s right-handedness, putting them at a disadvantage.

If you noticed, most depictions of the stairs in some of the world’s most notable cultures, don’t show where the stairs going up end. Either they’re covered in clouds or disappear with the mountain.

However, in rare instances when the stairs’ final step is pictured, there’s always the accompanying light from the clouds, an angelic figure or whatever ‘goal’ the artist wants to achieve, waiting to greet him at the top.

The most famous of these depictions is the Eye of Providence, aka the All-Seeing Eye.
Yes, pyramids have stairs. How do you think they’ve managed to put up those gigantic limestone together?

I do not have the capacity to fathom the struggle the countless slaves have had to go through to complete these ancient vanity monuments, but I can attest that climbing stairs is indeed NOT easy.

The first few days were no joke.

But those first few days taught me things I didn’t expect to come from a place that most people would only think to use when there’s fire, earthquake or an unexpected call from recruiters.

Here are three of them:

Harnessing discipline
Six months of using the stairs every day has led me to unlock the key to staying consistent: make it as a habit.

All the struggle and pain of climbing eleven floors everyday were introduced to my system as a habit.

The brain is pleasure-seeking, and habits are one of those things it sees as pleasurable, owing to the person’s constant practice of the action.

Today, eleven floors don’t pose so much of a challenge like they used to.

In fact, they got so ingrained in my system that I feel off during the weekends because my place only has two floors.

Circumventing creativity
Apple’s impeccable products had been a result of the design team’s quirky team meetings held in the most grueling of hours, when everyone is absolutely tired.

It’s the fearlessness on the character of these people when they’re nearing their limit that Apple is after. Because it’s when they become creative.

Using the stairs had a similar effect on me.

Writing about virtual communication is not the most creative thing in the world. Predictably, things have become robotic after several months.

After eleven floors, my legs and back scream for rest, my breathing rapid.

And the creativity starts trickling in, resulting to some of my most majestic coverage of the equally majestic world of virtual communicating.

A new kind of ‘sexy’
I lost 13 kilograms since excluding rice in my diet for almost a year now. Read here.

Since then, I lost the drive to do weight exercises. But I noticed my figure was going softer by the day. I aspire to be Sean O’Pry slender, not Kylie Jenner slender.

Using the stairs helped me maintain weight. And as a bonus, I developed this amazing calf definition.
Toned calves may not be universally liked like six-pack abs and nutella, but they are a testament of having been beaten down and winning in the end.

If giving up the speedy-but-nonchalant elevator for the humble-yet-kickass stairs seem like a daunting prospect, check below for inspiration.

10 Pivotal Stairs-Using Moments in All of History:

When the animals needed a dramatic entrance to Noah’s Ark:

So as Rose Dawson in Titanic:

Intimidating a Spartan King in the most grandiose way:

Guaranteeing Kung Fu Panda 3’s box-office status:

Obliterating the entire tech industry with just a damn staircase:

Descending from the ‘doomstairs’ to scare the shit out of Galadriel:

Making Jennifer Lawrence even more relatable:

Hosting the world’s greatest battle:

Giving Harry Potter his peace before he became a celebrity wizard:

Putting us peasants in our place before we get to air our grievances:
We can go on with this list forever.