1001 Things I have Done . . . Stair Climbing, in a way…
So, it goes like this . . .
So, yes. I have climbed my share of stairs.
In my house . . . about a million times.
At the baseball stadium.
However, the most important and memorable stairs I ever climbed was when I went to the Great Wall of China.
It was on my list of things to do before I die.
Is it on yours?
What a lot of people don’t know, is that outside of Beijing they have the original “Great Wall” and then they have the new “Great Wall” of China. It is to represent what it would have been like when they first built it. The original, as you may suspect, is a little . . . well . . . old.
So, they take all the tourists to the new wall.
Don’t worry, I hit both of them running!
Holy crap, some of those stairs are difficult, and frankly the Chinese maybe should have taken a “How to Build a Staircase” class prior to building this amazing structure.
Uniformity of steps risers is completely lost on the ancient Chinese.
However, we do cut them a little slack since the Great Wall of China is about a million miles long . . .
They do get the perseverance award, no doubt.
They don’t really know how many died during the building of it. Most of them that died were just thrown in the wall.
Trust me, there were a couple times when I was stepping up . . . or down . . . that I was wondering if I was standing on someone’s Peking Duck “last supper.” Eeeeek.
Something to think about, right? Is somebody’s grand-chinese-pappy supporting this step I am standing on? I hope he took his vitamins, right?
The other thing, is that some of these steps are extremely high (and a lot of the length of the Great Wall is a combination of stair steps and not a lot of flat stretches of “Brick”) . Like a step could be 2-feet high, immediately followed by one that might only be a couple inches high.
The steps seem endless . . . because they are. It goes round in a circle, you know.
Yeah, consistency was not a big concern when building these never-ending stairs.
So there you have it, I climbed the “Great Wall of China.” I went all the way to the top, baby (what they consider the highest point of the new wall.)
I should have worked-out a couple weeks on my StairMaster first. Ugh. Crap.
But, there I was . . . climbing steps next to little toddlers being lifted by their parents with smiling faces . . . and climbing steps next Chinese people that looked ancient. They stopped sometimes, took a breath and continued.
Yep. Some of them were really, REALLY old.
It was like a pilgrimage.
I felt like I was intruding, a little.
It was a beautiful social sharing of just the struggle of climbing that frigging wall.
Imagine the struggle it took to build it. Too much to think about . . . if you really think about it.
It was magnificent and seemingly impenetrable. And yes, I bought the stupid sweatshirt that said “I climbed the Great Wall of China.” It’s probably sitting in some Salvation Army shop right now.
I got tired of shuffling the shirt from room to room and finally donated it.
I don’t need a stinking shirt to confirm my memory.
The shirt trivialized it. Commercialized it. Lessened it.
So, of course, it had to go.
But, my memory of the Great Wall of China — the old wall and the new one — both are masterpieces in my mind.
That memory will never leave me.
So . . . go make a memory.
I dare you.
Let me know what you’ve done!
TO BE CONTINUED . . . BECAUSE I’VE DONE A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT!
So, y’all come back, now. Ya’ hear?
Be well Dahhhhlings,
S. Belle Karper, Author, Speaker www.BelleKarper.com
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