Monthly Archives: June 2015

Pedestrian Pedant

My last few posts were pretty politics heavy. But since Alberta got its  problematic preponderant politics out of the way I’ve had some time to exhale, and my inner voice is telling me to lighten up. So here goes …

I have a petty pedant pet peeve: the complete abdication of responsibility for locomotion.

What a wonder our modern world is. Never before have so many people had such access to the benefits of our collective, conscious, coordinated social constructs. We live in a world filled with wonderful inventions and innovations that we have used to make the benefits of our societies as broadly accessible as possible.

And that is great. I am totally on board with making the world attainble and accessible to the most people possible. But somehow some of us have chosen to adopt some the levelers intended to give others  a hand up as a perverse personal convenience – to our detriment.

What do I mean?


I mean stairs. Some of us legitimately cannot manage stairs . Most of us can though, and most of us need the exercise. In spite of how sedentary we have become and how long we sit every day hunched over keyboards staring at computer screens we, for some reason I cannot fathom, still opt to stand still and stare blankly off into space while an escalator or elevator takes us to our final destination.

I used to work in a building with 3 floors. 3 floors. The first set of stairs even rose up through a lovely garden next to a waterfall. Yet I would routinely see employees standing dumb by the elevator waiting to be carried up one floor.

Currently on chilly days I walk a nearby mall on my lunch hour. I find it frustrating to be stuck behind 20 perfectly fit looking people passively standing in front of me on the escalator that I only took because the mall offers me no alternative. (By no alternative, I mean there are no stairs in sight because clearly mall management doesn’t want me walking either) When I make a break for it and walk up the escalator, people mutter ‘sorry, didn’t know you were in a hurry.’ That’s the Canada passive aggressive way of  being annoyed at having to move whilst on an escalator-for-me machine. When did simply moving become so unacceptable as to merit passive  chastisement?

revlimid - lemming

Until about three months ago I worked in an office building for which the building management addressed the security threat posed by staff members without parking privileges being able to walk down to a parking garage that didn’t have their vehicle in it, by locking all the stairs. Of course we could go down in case of fire, but we could not opt to walk up. I could have had 6 flights of stair walking every morning and every lunch hour, but for that stroke of brilliance. Security, it matter. Fitness, meh.

stairwell lock

Enough enough. Take the stairs. Leave the elevator for people who actually need it. You need the stairs. You know the new mantra – sitting is the new smoking. Inactivity is literally killing us. Getting active is as easy as choosing the stairs. Don’t hide them from sight. Don’t lock them up. Don’t avoid them.

better choice