Music to step to (Toronto Life Ep. 205)

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How many times a day do we face the choice, right next to each other: stairs or escalator? In light of being registered for the longer of the Quebec City Staircase Challenges (19K) just a little over two months from now, I have to take the stairs, every single time. I haven’t yet at work or at my apartment because I’m often wearing pretty-but-uncomfortable shoes. And when I was in The Bay and had to go from basement to fifth floor where they cast the baby clothing, I did take the escalators. Still, say when I’m walking through the PATH during lunch or after work, I encounter this choice and go for the stairs because it certainly hasn’t killed me.

Being registered for this really unique Staircase race gives me a reason to add a different workout to my repertoire which has thus far been treadmill for training and elliptical for “off days”. My condo gym also has a Stairmaster and stepper machine. They are a little distanced from the main workout area, i.e., behind some pillars and in a wide “hallway” on the way to the yoga/meditation room and not within view of the weight-lifting dudes. Plus, a new older couple has started working out at the same time I do and I feel like the woman looks at me. Perhaps I should not be surprised because of what I tend to wear, and perhaps I remind her of her younger days. And I certainly stare back at her because she’s the kind of obnoxious treadmill user who grabs ahold of the console and is leaning back pulling on it as she walks briskly, completely negating her workout. Oh well.

Friday was an exciting day around here when I finally used my Bath and Body Works coupon appended to a receipt and stacked it with their current buy 3 get 2 free promotion. I’ve never lived or worked near a BBW so this is my first foray with full size versions of their products and the promotion and discount allowed me to pick up five flavours from their signature collection. Apparently I’m much into the design and idea of the scent and very girly in my taste.

I also received the Lululemon running skort I ordered with the GC I received as a parting gift from my last job. This marks my first real purchase from Lululemon and I’ll not get too controversial here extolling my admittedly bias against the company. To wit, I think it’s not worth the price for the products and every season, I can pick out what I think are the most ridiculous pieces. (Like the pinstripe shorts from a few years ago.) So my “rebellion” is to purchase with the GC ridiculous pieces that I would still also use. Like their tiered and pleated running skort in a pink-black fabric. Not only is the design over the top, the item is significantly shorter than my other two running skorts. Is she going to work out or clubbing?! Which is part of the reason I think creepy older Asian lady stares at me.


I’m either more practical than the rest or not doing myself any favours by hitting up the gym daily (hopefully) at 11 p.m., one hour before it is supposed to close. I don’t need to be going right after work or even during prime time (although I would try the latter at times) and risk having to wait for the equipment I need to use. At the same time, I think it might take a “certain kind of person”–a bit of a night owl, or shift work people–to visit the gym when some of those people from earlier have already gone to bed. (Unfathomable!) I fancy the younger men who are at the gym, half of them are pumping up a little and then heading out for a night on the town. Because that’s the kind of condo I live in. But for me, dressing up in a flirty running skirt, jamming to tunes on my iPod (phone) for 35 minutes is the entirety of me “going out” on a Saturday night.

And that’s fine with me. Because the single twenty-something crazy life is not what I’m here for. I’m here to work. I’m here to study (although it might appear otherwise these past weeks). I’m here to correct bad decisions of yore regarding work, residence, and companions although living a thirty-something version of what I missed in my youth. It’s my last hurrah because, God knows, I’ve been chasing that forever.

It’s like my iPod knew I was doing a stepping workout where I had to listen to music since it wasn’t a fancy LifeFitness machine with a fancy  built-in TV screen. I was stuck listening to music and my arms were free and bored. On random, my iPod played from my “Favourites” playlist a brilliant selection of emotional music with strong beats to which I just can’t help waving my arms “put your hands up in the air” style with Asian twirling fingers and running my arms through ballet positions. Very poser of me, I know. The Lululemon skirt does it to me. The music that really worked included Mariah Carey’s (diva arms gestures!) “Cruise Control”, Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” (flamenco arms!), Fort Minor’s “Where’d You Go”*, Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice”, Rihanna’s “Good Girl Gone Bad” (emotional arms for these songs), Toy-Box’s Best Friend,and Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Canon”!

Thank goodness the gym was dead on a Saturday night and the stepping machine is tucked away. It’s a good start and the machine claims that I climbed 150 floors!


* I loved the melody of this song and the beat but the lyrics irritate me to no end. If I take them literally, it sounds to me like a man complaining about a woman pursuing her career and leaving him and the kids at home. I have met so many people during my studies who do that so the complaining to me sounds not only selfish but the singer sounds like a low-life trying to hold her back. It’s a different case if he is singing from the point of view of males and females, and the video seems to support that. Still, the thought crosses my mind and I get annoyed every time.

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