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Never underestimate

Friday, March 11, 2011, the day we all waited for the tsunami to hit San Francisco. We waited and waited but alas, like the snow, it never came. A blessing in this case.

I decided in case the 600-mile an hour wave did show up, I would take my stair running workout to the Lyon Street steps rather than to my favorite place, the Baker Beach Sand Stairs.

Off I went to Broadway and Lyon. Clad in my ultra cute Lululemon togs with the purple trim and a too tight Nike tee that showed off my previous days arms and pecs workout. My hair was finally long enough to pull back and I was feeling like All That!

10 minutes of warm up exercises, a mile run and I was feeling like a million bucks. My goal, 5 times up the 286 steps. A goal that didn’t seem too high as it was not uncommon for me to climb more than that in a work out. If I reached today’s goal it would mean that my base was firm and that next week I would be ready to add a 6th round, confirming that I was more than ready for the Fight for Air Race in two weeks.

Up the steps I went. “Push, push” said the voice in my head. Swinging my arms from cheek to cheek I found my rhythm and was doing great. The second time up I took the steps two at a time (that was hard!).

Feeling the burn, but still confidant I noticed a woman who had managed to stay just ahead of me. I wondered when I would have to navigate around her and that annoyed me. From what I could see, she was “elderly,” covered from head to toe in black sweat cloths and a big floppy hat. I waited a second at the bottom to allow her to make some progress, surly she would get in my way at some point, after all I was All That.

About ¼ of the way up the stairs for the third time I noticed “Grandma” slowing down so I made my move and picked up my pace expecting to blow past her. To my surprise Grandma was working me! Sensing me, never looking back she moved faster and faster, matching my gain, toying with me, keeping me just off her heals.

As we approached the last 50 steps the woman started taking two at a time jumping from step to step! In epic fashion neither of us looked over at the other, we were neck and neck now, flying over the steps in unison as we approached the final stretch. I was in shock! Who was this woman? The voice in my head now yelling, “GO! GO!” I made the crossing of the final step first. “You won” the woman said, but frankly I couldn’t see at that point. My glasses were fogged, eyes full of sweat and my breathing so labored that I couldn’t respond. If I won it was by a very thin hair. I walked a few feet to get my legs back but by the time I turned around GM had already started to descend the stairs preparing to come back up again. Ugh I thought!  Not again, I’m screwed!

I only made it back up the stairs one more time (4x’s total). GM was ahead of me the whole time. I didn’t (couldn’t) challenge her.  While my ego was certainly put in check I was very much inspired by this woman.  I’m going back next Friday to look for her. Something tells me she’s a regular, someone who enjoys being fit and enjoys “working over” those whose egos are badly in need of adjustment. A woman after my own heart! All I can say is, YOU GO GIRL!

 

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