In thirteen weeks, I climbed 8,125 stairs, from the underground parking to my classroom on floor four. Not that I’m counting.
Okay, I am.
125 per day. 6 flights. 5 mornings per week. 13 weeks. Somedays more.
My phone keeps track— 13 flights on Friday, 12 on Thursday, 10 on Wednesday, 11 on Tuesday, 7 on Monday.
Each time, my thighs burn, my heart pounds, I breathe hard— but easier through 13 weeks. I’ve lost a pound or 2— okay 8, depending on when I weigh. Not that I’m counting.
Okay, I am. Blessings have a way of hiding until you look.
I count more around the school Steps and blessings and such great kids.
I don’t know the girl in the t-shirt that says, “Nice is the new cool.” But I smile, as does she. Then my student greets me, “What up, Mrs. Byers?” Her good energy spreads like fire. I overhear another say, “Today— is gonna be amazing.” He catches my eye, and his flicker. I nod and hope mine spark, too, a torch to pass on.
There’s often time in my day for extra steps. Time— another blessing.
Music swells in the stairwells a flute trio, a vocal solo. My heart responds, drawn by the pulse of art and life.
One flight down, Dancers in leotards perfect techniques at the barre. And I— stroll a little straighter, arabesque if only in my head, held a little higher, past the studios, past the tune of piano, down another flight to the art gallery to contemplate lines and images, color and messages.
There are days I descend two extra flights exit the building, walk a few city blocks for lunch and fresh air before ascending the stairs
back to floor four, somedays to the fifth, where rehearsals ensue
and my heart beats to the Mariachi, vocal, and orchestral excerpts.
In a small practice room with an open door, my student sits before a harp. “I didn’t know you play harp,” I say.
“I don’t usually tell," says she, and I leave her to her secret and take the stairs back to my classroom and prepare for my last class of Week Thirteen, not to mention Thanksgiving.