Frabjous Times

Long climb up

I went to the gym this morning before 9 and found an empty stair climbing machine to use. These are located up in the cardio theater in front of banks of television screens, and on WABC they were broadcasting the memorial ceremonies from the site of the World Trade Center. Thinking of all those police and firefighters who made their way up the stairwells that day, how could I do any other kind of workout? Listening and seeing what I could from television wasn't the same as being at the site (as my wife can attest since she and her sister had gone there early this morning), but some of the emotion still came through to me.
What I was able to accomplish before work: 1.58 mi 76 floors 20 minutes. So I guess that would have taken me three-quarters of the way up one tower, still below the level of either impact. It's a sham, of course, me there in a clean and unchaotic place, without the rush of people evacuating, the smoke and the sounds of the building on fire, not even taking the level up to an anaerobic level the way a real emergency worker would likely have done running on adrenaline. One thing which was the same, though, was the odd sense that the only direction was up; there was no climb back down those steps for the ones who came to rescue.
After the workout I stepped down and had a shower and a shave. Time to get back in to work.
Originally published: 11-09-2003 22:41:20