have been at this new job for 14 months now. When I started working in this hospital which had been built back in the 1870’s, I took some of the health lessons taught to me in training to heart. Specifically, I decided to concentrate on my steps and I forbid myself to take elevators, escalators, or skywalks in order to increase my daily steps.
The horrible aches and pains that I had in my surgically repaired ankles and thigh have all but disappeared and I’ve lost weight. Now, this can be difficult when making your way through a complex that has been ripped up and expanded upon over 150+ years, 3 centuries really. In fact, it reminds me of the movie “The Rock” and that line by Commander Anderson about Alcatraz’s blueprints: “They’re useless. Alcatraz has been ripped up and rebuilt for years. Underneath is a maze of shit.”
Case in point, to get to my monthly infusion for my MS treatment I had to get to an infusion center that most people took 2 skywalks to get to which connected via a parking garage. I know, it sounds hard to believe, but it’s true.
I asked everyone if there was another way, and got many blank stares. Some said it couldn’t be done, others said it shouldn’t be done. For a while it amounted to taking the stairs down 4 flights to ground level, going outside, walking across streets, around buildings, back up stairs, etc.
One time, I ended up above said infusion center in a pediatric wing, lost and a desk full of doctors and nurses asked if they could help me. I replied, “Not a chance” and explained my self-imposed dilemma. Then on another occasion, (to steal another “The Rock” line), “I shit you not”, I opened up a door and ended up on a roof. I got lost on parts of several floors that were completely shut down, dark, and apparently being used for storage. I was petrified to open a door for fear of setting of an alarm and wasn’t sure how to find my way out.
Finally, one day I hit pay dirt. The trail wasn’t easy and took breadcrumbs of a sort to memorize my path. I jotted down the 6 digit door frame labels above each of the doors to mark my path. Now I traverse through the maze of layered construction like a modern-day Indiana Jones! I can’t remember the last time I stepped foot into an elevator or walked across a skywalk. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this hard-headed clumsy walker from the awkward completion of his self-imposed steps routine”. That’s what I tell myself as I march along my lonely journey.
I call it my built-in daily exercise without having to set aside gym time. Using my stubborn nature for good.