"I'll take any risk to tie back the hands of time."
Igor: What hump?
I was told over twenty years ago that "you're not old until you start using the stairs to get out of the pool." It's one of those things that after a while takes hold in our brains till we come to believe it as fact. True or not, I still leave the water directly from my lane, the old push up technique. And I'm no longer young.
Another one I learned in premed from Homer Jackson Moore, MD, one of the sharpest guys I've ever met and a major reason I got accepted to med school. Trying to keep up with, and every once in a while,get ahead of "Jack" Moore was a full time job. However, it got me the grades I needed to gain entrance to "the U" Medical School . Jack used to say, "Take the stairs and add a day to your life." Let's see how that fits into a triathlete's world.
Does that single comment shape us into the travelers that we are today? I think so. Rarely do I step on a moving sidewalk or escalator at the airport. Famed triathlon coach Joe Friel told me many years ago in this type of discussion to think that "those airport stairs were put there just for you." A third member of the discussion admitted that if he had a layover, the stairs were "an opportunity to get stronger." He'd go up and down them repeatedly like mini mountain climbing. When asked if passers by would think him nuts he repeated the oft quoted line from Michael J. Fox, "What other people think of me is not my concern." And he did get stronger. And faster.
I have another friend who, when traveling, rather than sit and stare at mindless talking heads on TV giving you weather information about a place you may never in your life visit, finds an empty gate and does push ups. Or sit ups, leg levers, planks, hip thrusts, you name it. Once again, if she gets an odd look she thinks, "They'd be welcome to do some of these with me."
Before 9/11, it wasn't all that hard to park your stuff in a terminal locker, head out for a run and then finish with a sponge bath in the men's or ladies room when you get back. You wouldn't be the first person with a long layover to make your way to a local health club for a weight workout or couple hours on a stationery bike. I've read that some enterprising folks have even made their way into the airport hotel fitness center. And some airports have actual gym facilities. http://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/227513
There are opportunities in your life like this every day from how far away from the door of the supermarket you park to shunning the elevator in office buildings. I've reported before that during my junior year med school clerk ships, while training for my first Boston Marathon, that the West Wing where our patients were located had 16 floors. And before getting our assigned patients, my friend Dennis and I agreed we wouldn't use the elevator.
You guessed it. We were assigned to West Wing 15, the fifteenth floor of the hospital. So several times a day it was fifteen flights of stairs up and fifteen down. What really got your goat was when you forgot something like your notebook at one end or the other....and it was fifteen flights up....
I had to smile a few weeks ago when flying with our two 20+ year old sons. We were on the way to the connecting flight to go backpacking in Sequoia National Park, the boys about 10 feet ahead of me. And they took the stairs, not the escalator.
So when you have a little time between flights and consider poking around in search of an empty gate for a little core work, remember Michael J. Fox, a very likable guy and "What other people think of me is not my concern."