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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Lessons from the stairwell

After the conference finished up today, I wanted to get a quick workout in, and decided to run stairs in the hotel. The fitness center was uninspiring, and with 8 floors, it figured to be a good workout. It was a typical cement stairwell, with not much to recommend it, and something stenciled on each floor about a fire retention wall, good for two hours, and to keep all openings closed in case of fire. A definite lack of ambiance - but great for a workout.

About 5 minutes in, I noticed a guitar case and a small amp tucked behind some of the visible piping. I spent the next few trips up and down wondering what the story was behind it. Did a hotel employee hide it in the stairwell, and sneak out to practice. Was there a front desk clerk who hid it there, planning to race to his after hours job at and underground club? There was definitely some thought and determination that I read into the placement.

Towards the end of the climbing, I noticed that a cook had come out into the second floor. He had taken off a chefs hat and heavy Dewalt workboots, and unrolled a prayer rug. He was lost in his religious observance, and didn't even seem to notice me as I went huffing and puffing by. I was impressed by the concentration, and his planning in finding a quite, relatively peaceful spot.

Which raised a fascinating question in my post exercise haze:
What motivates you enough to head into a stairwell (real or virtual)?



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