Stair. Master.

For the majority of my first 39 years, I was a distance runner. Along with the 11 marathons and one season of (mediocre) track and cross country at Delaware, I just … ran. Road races. Trail jogs. Jog to town, pick up a newspaper, jog back. Miles and miles and miles and miles.

Then, last year, my back started dying. I’ve got disc problems, degeneration, etc …

Now—without having run in a year—I’m getting closer and closer to being in the best shape of my adulthood. How? Two awful words: Stair. Master.

I’m all about that damn machine these days—usually four-to-six days per week. Why? A. Because, at the nearby gym, it’s always available. B. Because it’s accompanied by a TV to distract the ensuing hell. C. Because it burns gazillions of calories. D. Because it doesn’t impact my back.

Man, I hate the Stairmaster, while simultaneously loving the Stairmaster. I come back drained, coated in sweat, needing the bed—yet also happy and relieved and, well, skinnier. A few weeks ago, in a moment of pure dread, I stepped on the scale and weighed 204. I’m 6-foot-2, but … 204? What the hell? This morning: 194.

Stair. Master.


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