back arrow icon Back
05 Oct

When the Escalator Stops


When I was young, my family and I lived in one of those parts of PA that many would certainly call, “The Boonies.” Next door neighbors didn’t exist. Neither did cable TV, and you can forget about pizza delivery. So near the end of each summer when it was time to load up on school clothes, we traveled an hour and a half to reach an area populated enough to house its very own multi-leveled mall.

These trips were indeed exciting for a country girl, but there was an exception: escalators. My mother had told me a pretty scary story once about a person who got their shoe lace caught in between the teeth of a rising step, and when they reached the top…well, use your imagination.

So every single time I stood at the bottom of one of those beasts, I executed my entrance with precise timing. And once safely on, my eyes never left my feet as I willed my shoelaces not to spontaneously become untied. Near the top, when that strange flat mouth began sucking each step back into the mystery of what lied beneath, I leaped to the landing before I could be sucked away.

Some thirty years later, while my heart still quickens just a bit, I am now grateful for the sight of those automatic stairs. After all, they do all the work! I just have to stand there, enjoy the view from the changing altitude, and in mere seconds find myself at my desired destination. Easy! Thoughtless.

Some things are worth thinking about, however. There is a group at my church called, “going deeper,” and a few weeks ago there I found myself thinking about an escalator in a brand new way. Our group leader told us of a funny drawing he saw recently that depicted a couple standing on an escalator that broke down mid ride. The caption said: “Now what?” For a moment or two I tried to answer that question, and literally, I pictured myself just standing there annoyed by the inconvenience, waiting for it to turn back on. Um, can someone come fix this thing? ANYBODY??

But then I had an embarrassingly obvious epiphany. One thought flashed through my mind, and all it said was, MOVE!

I’ve been thinking about that cartoon ever since because it is so spot on. How many of us have forgotten that we can still move? We have feet. We have legs. We have a brain to control them both. And we have the ultimate decision to tell them to giddy up.

Here at ARC we advocate moving your body in any way you can. Not just because it is good for your body, but because it is good for you, the person who dwells inside. Improved health, better self-esteem, the natural high from those activity induced endorphins…yes! Get you some of those!

That cartoon with the perplexed couple just at a loss for what to do next? I can relate. You can relate. For sure there are situations in life that feel utterly and completely paralyzing, but in those situations just remember that when the escalator breaks, we can still lift our feet, step up, and MOVE ON!

The faster the better if you ask me.

– Emily