Stairs + I have had an interesting relationship since last August when I fell down the concrete steps at Nissan Stadium. True story. Before you ask, yes I was sober. In fact, I spilled the can of wine I had just purchased on several rows of people. Needless to say, I have been avoiding them + walking them very carefully for the past year. That is all about to change with the Santorini Stairs challenge.
Okay, so this isn’t technically a challenge that exists yet, but I am going to make it one! To be honest, I’ve never been super interested in running a marathon or 5k. I would only do the latter just to prove I could do it or if it was a really fun theme. The end result of that is just self-satisfaction and while that is awesome, I kind of need a bigger reward. Plus, to train for it, I’d need to actually get moving + running a race is also not a big enough reward + Atomic Habits tells us how important that is.
I want to improve my cardio + overall fitness. I wanted to track this in a fun + unique way. Sure, I could see how my mile time improved or hit 10,000 steps, but.. yawn. So I brainstormed a few goals based on that, like run (and by run I mean on the elliptical) the number of miles I commute to work in a month or the distance from Memphis to Austin in a year. Both meh. Then I thought about my #1 travel destination, Greece + a goal emerged.
There are these stairs in Santorini also known as the Karavolades steps. They’re iconic. You see them in photos all the time. Overlooking the Aegean Sea, the 588 Santorini Stairs connect the port to Fira, the capital of the Island. You can take donkeys up + down these steps, but you can also walk them. I would love to make it up these steps, but there is no way. My endurance is crap. Hello challenge.
How the Santorini Stairs Challenge Works
Obviously, I can’t just hop on over to Santorini + practice on the stairs. That would be costly + foolish because I’d never make it. So this is how I’m going to train. I’m going to walk 588 steps on the Stairmaster at the gym in my office building. Once I have a baseline, I’m going to train on the elliptical at home to increase my endurance + build up my muscles. I’ll also do squats, pilates, and other workouts eventually to help. Once a month, I’ll return to the gym at work to see what my new time is. My goal is to cut my time by 25% by Thanksgiving. By 2020, I’d like to have it cut in half! When my baseline is established, I can create more concrete and numerical goals.
The hope is that this challenge will lead to an overall increase in fitness + mini-goals. Maybe I’ll set small goals on how many miles I need to walk/run per week or a certain amount of miles in a specific time. 588 steps roughly equals 0.28 miles. That is not a lot when you look at it that way, but add in elevation + cobblestones + you’ve got a challenge. One day, I hope to make it to Santorini + do the challenge in person. Maybe that will be a goal for 28!
Do you have any unique fitness goals? Let me know over on Instagram.