Stairs Suicides

When I was little, my favorite activity in gym class went by the name of Suicides. It took place on a basketball court and involved running back and fourth from one line to the next before the whistle. When the whistle went off, if my legs hadn’t crossed the line, then I’d be out. If they had crossed the line, then I got to turn around and repeat. Again, and again, and again. The point is to keep going until you can’t go anymore.

With winter storms in the forecast threatening outdoor running, I came up with an alternate routine: Stairs Suicides. I live in a skyscraper with 20 floors. After consulting with the building engineer, we calculated the height at 50.2 meters. It usually takes me 4 minutes to scale to the top after a run. So, if in lieu of a run, here’s the game:

1. Set a stop watch to ring every 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

2. Aim to arrive at the summit or base before every beep.

3. If I make it, turn around and repeat.

Again. And again. And again.

For motivation, I could think, 3 times to the top is like reaching the top of the Great Pyramid in Giza. 7 times up is like reaching the top of the Eiffel Tower. 9 times to the top is like scaling the Empire State Building. 9 and some more takes me up the Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur. 10 takes me to the top of Taipei 101. 11 times up takes me to my birth place’s claim to fame: The Sears Tower. 17 times up would take me to the other side of the world, to the top of the tallest building on Earth, Burj Khalifa.


Right now, this is all hypothetical, and I can feel my thighs burn before my stop watch even beeps. That’s Stairs Suicides.