2016-07-02 10.10.01

New stairs on the left, old stairs on the right. 168 vs. 125 stairs, but somehow the old stairs still seem more difficult.

As I attempt to literally work my ass off at the Swallow Cliff stairs, the scene is always ripe with juicy conversations to overhear and interesting things to see. Note that anything in quotes is verbatim according to my memory (which, to be honest, might be slightly suspect) and everything might be taken out of context, especially if it increases the humor quotient.

Here’s a sampling:

“Oh, that was her friend with her in that Facebook picture? I thought it was her daughter and figured that maybe she had decided to start being a good Mom. I guess not.”

I spent three flights of stairs hustling to keep up with a pair of women who were talking about one of the women’s relationships — turns out she was having an affair with a married man. Her kids did not approve, but she thought they were old enough and out of the house enough that their opinion didn’t count. She raved about how thoughtful he was, always texting and calling and making sure that she was doing okay, but was unhappy that they didn’t get to spend a lot of time together. Turns out that this man’s wife? Yea, she has multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair. The woman having an affair assured her friend, “I don’t expect him to leave her, of course. In fact, I think it makes him more attractive knowing how he takes care of her even though he’s in love with me. I know – I’m like a saint, aren’t I?” Whaaaaa…..?

On an average day, I’ll hear at least 4 different languages. Six, if you count Teenage-Girl-Speak and Mansplainin’ as languages.

“She drinks for attention because she’s weak, and he sleeps with her because he’s a dirty, dirty bastard.”

During the last few flights of my workout, I was very slowly going by a woman who was taking a quick rest break. She was muttering to herself, “Why do I do this to myself?” I answered her in a gasp, “I ask myself the same damn thing every time up these stairs…” Shared misery, it’s what we do.

“Rock your choo-choo, rock your choo-choo, rock your choo-choo….” said the woman who was singing along to something obviously transportation-related on her headphones.

As I walked on the hiking path, attempting to get my legs back under me after a tough stair workout, I listened to two birds call and answer each other; I felt like I was eavesdropping on their conversation just as much as anyone else’s that day.

Two well-muscled dudes having a heart-to-heart: “I’ve tried being the Bro Dude, doing my own thing and letting her do hers. I’ve been Romantic Dude, with flowers and everything. I’ve been Thoughtful Dude and Rude Dude. I’ve even been Cuddle After Sex Dude and she still can’t figure out whether she wants to stay or go. Dude, I don’t know what dude to be to please this chick.”

A woman wearing a weight vest boasted to her friend, “This was just getting way too easy so I had to go out and buy a weight vest so it would be worth doing.” Lady, I’ve got my own weight vest, made entirely of cookies, pizza and ice cream. Beat that.

My favorite, the one that made my day: a group of women in a circle at the bottom of the stairs, already done with their workouts. “How many did you do, Sharon?” “10!” <high-fives and whoops> “I did 8!” “I got 10!” “7 for me!” <more high-fives and celebrating> “I did my best ever – I did 5! I’m so happy! And TIRED!!” “You go, girl!” “That’s awesome!!” <high-fives all around>

Pretty cool, eh?