Weighing In: An Intro To The Stairs Monster

Monday, September 19, 2011
Back in 2004, when I first joined the gym, I was really amazed at how such a simple machine could evoke so much sweat and 'out-of-breath'ness in one person. I am talking about the one and only Stepper. The one where you take steps as if you are on your way to a never-ending stairway to heaven.

Yep, that's the one. I dub ye The Stairs Monster!!!!

My first encounter with it was not very encouraging, to say the least. In fact, I would describe it as very one-sided - the step machine big and sturdy, unmoving and me on the other end, gasping for air and deciding that I need medical attention after 3 minutes of stepping (or as the experts say, taking the stairs). I could not perform any other gym exercises after that first meeting with the step machine. It had become my nemesis.

Of course, if I had known then what I know now, I would have realised that I've set the bar too high by doing something silly like increasing my level to 8 when I didn't know what the machine could do to me. The steps were stiff but as you increase the level, the steps became smoother...but then you also needed to step faster to keep yourself afloat. It felt so easy just taking steps. I was misled so I continued increasing the level of ease, or as I found out later, it was actually the level of difficulty. I've setup myself to fail. Not to mention, that I just showed myself up as totally unfit.

I avoided the step machine for a few months after that but decided to adopt the "no pain, no gain" policy. I came back to it, and after resolving that I should not play around with the controls of the level, I had a much more enjoyable experience with it. One that did not involve hyperventilation.

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