Wow, that sounds intense! I thought as I sat listening to Mr. James and Mr. Lemon introduce the school to the Fitness 1500 challenge. Each one of us were challenged to climb a certain amount of stairs over a period of three months. These stairs were no ordinary household set of stairs, but the legendary 154-step staircase by the boys’ dorm! For Fitness 1500, there were three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. At each level, the number of sets of stairs you had to climb increased. For bronze you needed to climb 120 sets of stairs in three months; for silver, 240 sets of stairs; and finally for gold, 340 sets. The ultimate goal of all of this was to develop the habit of consistent exercise and health. An added incentive was that we would each get a t-shirt once we completed the challenge.
As I walked out for my first set of stairs, I wondered if anyone would reach the “gold” level. It seemed like such a time commitment and I didn’t see how it was possible. Somewhere in the back of my memory I recalled my mother telling me that stair-climbing was very good exercise. I’ll do it, I told myself. I’ll try for bronze. Little did I know just how fun stair-climbing would be for me.
Several weeks later, as I got more adapted to my daily stair-climbing, I discovered that it helped to split it up into two-minute intervals. Using that method, it didn’t take long to do five or six sets at a time. While I was climbing up the stairs, a line from One Step At A Time on Janice’s Attic would run through my head. Before I knew it, stairs had become my passion as well as my favorite form of exercise.
By the time the three months of stair-climbing had finished, students and staff at Fountainview climbed 14,868 sets of stairs. That comes out to 2,289,672 steps—around the same amount of steps as climbing Mt. Everest 39 times! All in all, Fitness 1500 was an awesome challenge that considerably raised our fitness levels, and brought us closer together as we encouraged each other to climb the stairs.