Social Graces of Stair Season

The weather is finally nice, and stair season is upon us.  This is where all Edmontonians take advantage of the beautiful river valley and get their fitness on the stairs.  Did you know Edmonton has over 40 sets of stairs of all sizes for you to utilize for free for your workout?

Top 3 Sets of Stairs (most well-known):

  1. Glenora (202) – Ezio Faraone Park
  2. Fox Drive (242) – Whitemud Park
  3. Wolf Willow (200) – Access from Westridge Park (*steepest in the city)

Whether you are a newbie or a veteran, there are some common sense rules that we feel need to be followed to ensure everyone has a great experience, especially when the stairs are jam packed on a hot sunny day!

  1. Head Up.Watch where you are going.
  2. Stay Right. Rules of the road. This is the most simple rule to prevent chaos.
  3. Be aware of the people around you.  I get that you are in the zone with your headphones while crushing your personal best, but pay attention to people in front and behind you.  Turn down the volume of your motivation mix so you can hear people coming up behind you.
  4. Mid-Stair Stop. If you have to stop mid-stair to catch some wind, do it off to the right side, and make sure you aren’t disrupting someone else’s goal crushing (refer to #3).
  5. It’s awesome you have brought your best fur friend to workout with you. Keep them on a close leash next to you, not a long retractable leash that allows them cut people off.  (I have actually seen people TRIP up and down the stairs from dogs cutting them off and tripping over leashes.)
  6. Single File. You and your bestie are hitting the stairs, chatting up a storm while you suffer the burn together – love it.  However, when you are going up and down side by side, you are disrupting the space of others (especially when the stairs are packed).  It’s hard to pass team bestie on the stairs when you are shoulder to shoulder.
  7. Respect.  Some are walking, some are jogging, some are sprinting, some are jumping, some are sightseeing, some are dancing.  You don’t know everyone’s goals and history.  Respect everyone’s workout goals. Someone might be just starting, someone might be back from an injury, someone might be training a different energy system, someone might be crushing their second workout of the day. You don’t know everyone’s story – don’t be so judgy and think your workout is more important or better than yours.
  8. High Fives. Ever just high 5 a stranger?  Try it.  You are both there working your butts off, and sometimes you just need to celebrate. Or try it because sometimes you see a person there struggling, and maybe they need it!

We get that stairs should have no rules, its free, its open to anyone to enjoy and no one owns them.  But if we all follow a few of these rules, then everyone’s experience will be more positive.

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT*D, CFSC