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In my mind, the Chariots of Fire music was playing, anyway - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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In my mind, the Chariots of Fire music was playing, anyway [Oct. 26th, 2005|12:41 pm]
[Current Mood |amusedamused]

The joy of getting healthier is that sometimes you surprise yourself - and then find that your delight is not matched by others. This is not because they disrespect your accomplishments; this is because they can see you much more clearly than you can and what amazes you is a "well, duh!" moment to them.

Case in point: when we went apple picking on Sunday, we had to walk back through the orchard a distance to get to the trees that had not yet been picked over. Almost-2-year-old Carolyn was a little intimidated by the walking: the grass was thick and tangled, the ground uneven, and everything a bit wet. What was lower-shin-deep to us was knee deep on her little short legs.

As we were starting to walk back, Eric encouraged Carolyn to run, and she tried. Watching this, Ferrett suddenly wondered if he could run back to the road. Which Kat and I assured him he certainly could do. To prove it to himself, he handed me the bags of apples and took off. We watched him quickly disappear over the rise and just shook our heads. He runs on the treadmill every day - why would he even think that this 500-yard distance was going to be hard?

Sure enough, he was thrilled with himself when he rejoined us. We both assured him that we had never had any doubts. I think it disappointed him a bit that we weren't as jubilant as he. I told him that what I considered a triumph was that he would even contemplate the issue - something that certainly would not have happened a year earlier.

I bring this all up because we had a full building evacuation drill today. Usually for fire drills we only walk down five flights of stairs, but today we had to walk down the entire 35 stories. When you consider that each story consists of two flights of stairs, it's actually like walking down 70 flights of stairs. The veterans of this whole affair - those who had been here for 9/11 and for the blackout of 2002, assured us that our legs would be killing us by the time that we were done, and that we'd be sore for days. I was looking forward to the challenge.

A year ago, going down the stairs to the laundry room in the morning was a painful experience for me. My knees hurt and I sort of lurched and hobbled. A year ago, I am certain that the experience would have been extremely difficult.

This morning we did it in about 13 minutes without an issue. Now, granted, that's actually a lot easier than a real evacuation because it was not manadatory so anyone who had done it during the two actual evacuations was excused. That meant that it was quick, rather than one slow step at a time in a hot, crowded stairwell. But still, I was pleased with myself that I could do it without pain.

And even part of me says, "Duh! Think of all that biking!"

[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-10-26 04:48 pm (UTC)
And even part of me says, "Duh! Think of all that biking!"

See, it all that hard work pays off in the end. Says the lazy guy who spends his evenings sitting on his ass :-)

Did you also have to walk up the stairs? That would have been hella-brutal.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-10-26 04:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, no. No one is asked to do that. This is simply for escape from the building in case of emergency. If this were a situation wherein we could not use the elevators to get back in, the offices would be closed anyway.
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[User Picture]From: on_reserve
2005-10-26 05:42 pm (UTC)
My building is not nearly so hig but I get so dizzy/nauseous from the continual turning and turning in those tight stairwells.

Congrats -- that's a LOT of stairs! :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-10-26 05:53 pm (UTC)
I know the dizzy. It is a weird feeling, after a while - almost hypnotic.
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[User Picture]From: pavel_lishin
2005-10-26 09:12 pm (UTC)
I think all tall buildings need to have an alternate system of fireman poles, so you can slide down five stories at a time. Sure, it'd injure lots of kids, but that's what kids are for.
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[User Picture]From: smldada9801
2005-10-26 09:51 pm (UTC)
Wow that's a lot of stairs.


I hope you'll keep posting updates like this, I find them to be really inspring and empowering.

thank you.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-10-26 10:00 pm (UTC)
I kinda go through phases when I talk about it a lot of phases when I don't.

I felt it a little in my calves, walking downstairs here at school today.
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[User Picture]From: kimmaline
2005-10-26 11:54 pm (UTC)
I assume that this is a mandatory for the rest of you building evaluation? Cause I would totally boycott that.

Well...I have a reason to boycott it. Tee hee. But you know what I mean.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-10-26 11:59 pm (UTC)
Actually, it wasn't mandatory for everyone, but I wanted to see if I could do it, and basically they had everyone who hadn't been there for actual evacuations. People who couldn't physically do it were also exempted because there is a different procedure for them.
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From: pbristow
2005-10-27 09:31 am (UTC)
Hmm... Have they ever tested the "different procedure" concurrently with the floods of people trying to plod down the stairwells? Because that can throw up unexpected difficulties.

(Just popped in here via theferrett)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-10-27 10:28 am (UTC)
Yeah, I thought about that myself. I know the building has been actually evacuated on two occasions, neither of which involved an imminent, life-threatening crisis such as fire. They got those people out then. So it has been tested in some ways.
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[User Picture]From: ladycathead
2005-10-27 11:47 pm (UTC)
Huh. I think you may have a point there. It's easy to think that the reason people aren't as excited as you are about achieving goals is because they're jealous or being jerks or whatever, but lots of times it's because they knew you could all along even before you knew. Who knew? LOL
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