Growing up, I was always athletic. And, with my additional years of being in a university environment, training and teaching, I was typically able to play organized sports and recreational sports well into my 40’s. I rode my bike to work daily, played tennis with a group of retired educators once or twice a week, and chased small children around the house until recently.
With a change in positions came a change in cities and quite a disruption to my exercise routine. My foursome was gone and the biking commute far more dangerous. The work I now do is more administrative than in patient care, so I have lost thousands of steps per day behind a desk. So, I have resorted to a practice learned from a former medical school professor. Dr. Eugene Geppert was an amazing clinician but what I admired most was his dedication to staying fit in his daily routine. As a rounding team, we always took the stairs in the hospital, never the elevators. He walked with a quick pace and we seemed to be exercising as much as anything else on his service. So, now, I take the stairs, almost always. I reflect back on my days as a high school wrestler; I’d sweat to cut weight in the hot swimming pool stadium running stairs. As a graduate student, I would often run the 11 flights of stairs in the life sciences building in which my lab was located to break from the intensity of work and for exercise. And, as I run today’s stairs, it seems that I have been climbing for a long time, and it hasn’t failed me yet.