Coming out of the subway, heading to the airport gates, or moseying back to the office after lunch, you occasionally walk with a friend and hit this classic fork in the road. On the right is a smooth-moving escalator with a bit of traffic and on the left is a wide-open set of stairs.
As your friend continues chatting and takes the first step onto the escalator, you cut off the conversation and leap onto the stairs.
Now the race is on.
Jump up those stairs, take them two at a time, do what you need to do, just chase the racing bunny that is your friend’s smooth-moving head all the way up. And if your buddy starts walking up the escalator, make no mistake: They are cheating. And if they hit a wall of tourists taking pictures or a family with a smuggled stroller gumming up the lanes, make no mistake: They knew the risks.
If you beat them to the top, it’s time to celebrate by taking gasping, wheezy breaths while grabbing your sides and wiping the sweat off your brow.
You just burned a calorie.