I managed Dupont Circle's escalator with relative ease, only slightly losing the feeling in my legs during the last 20 steps. Final stair count: 146 +/- 2, depending on the half steps it was stopped on. This puts Dupont Circle behind Rosslyn's 160 steps.
Feeling like a champ after Dupont Circle, I tackled Wheaton's stairmaster at the end of my day. I had heard stories about Wheaton's height, but didn't think it would be much worse than Dupont Circle. I may have a minor cold and haven't exercised in over a week, but I'm young and I'm (kinda, not really) strong.
Turns out, I'm also completely wrong.
I have nothing on my sister and her four marathons in the last 18 months, but she never climbed this!
Wheaton's middle escalator was out of service, allowing the escalator-goers, in both directions, ample time to mock, point, and gawk at the fool (that's me!) who turned down mechanical help. I started my hike pretty well, moving faster than the up escalator for the first 100 steps. Then I started to lose the battle during steps 101 through 130 when I slowed to the escalator's pace.
I looked up from my counting and was faced with the daunting task of many more steps than I had planned. I had to press forward. This harangue of a blog entry depended on it; the escalator-goers were watching; and because the escalator wasn't working, my only choice was to finish the workout or else jump the rail. But my parents didn't raise a quitter! Well, maybe I've quit on a few things, but I digress.
As of June 3, 2005, the Washington Post said I had walked up the tallest escalator in the Western Hemisphere!
I lost ground to the escalator during this final leg. Around step 157 I lost the feeling in my calves and around step 166 I lost touch with my entire lower half. Out of breath and delirious, I also lost count temporarily. Yet, I could see the
When Metro runs its first escalator marathon, it'll surely include Dupont Circle, Rosslyn, and Wheaton. And after this day's 332-step training session, I'll be ready. Sort of.