The Firestone Fieldhouse stairs appear daunting from the bottom leading to Lower Dorm Road. The stairs might be scary to look at, but they are even more taxing to walk up. Photo by Abby Wilt
The sight of a mountain of stairs. The sensation of burning legs. The sound of huffing and puffing. If you’ve ever walked for more than one minute on Pepperdine’s hilly campus, you know this exact feeling.
Two days after I moved to campus, I had the shocking realization that parking is hard to come by and walking was my best method of transportation. I was warned by several people that this campus was referred to as “Stepperdine” but I chose to ignore the warnings.
Let’s start with a few stats about exactly how much walking I am talking about here. To get from the bottom of campus to the top, I walked up exactly 457 stairs. That is equivalent to approximately 38 flights of stairs.
I feel pain. Embarrassment. Humiliation. And more pain. My legs hurt, my lungs hurt, and the whole time I’m trying to hold it together so my classmates don’t realize that I’m winded from walking up a set of stairs. The motivation leaves my body one step at a time and I regret not wearing better walking shoes.
While walking up the stairs, I usually overhear thudding feet, students around me gasping for air and, of course, my inner voice telling me that I am strong enough. I stutter a quick greeting while passing one of my peers, trying my best not to reveal the pain we both know we’re in.
After making the long hike to my destination, I walk inside excited to take a drink of ice-cold water, because that is all that I am craving. But of course, I sit down at my desk and what do I realize? I can’t take a drink because I can’t take my mask off. While I appreciate the safety procedures to slow the spread of COVID-19, I long to stay hydrated after enduring such a taxing walk to class.
Sometimes on my walk, I’ll get a whiff of the ocean air or maybe food from the Caf. But unfortunately, the stench that comes to mind when I think of walking around Pepperdine is sweat. Sweat from myself, sweat from others, simply sweat.
While the initial sight of stairs is alarming, and some would say terrifying, the views from campus are worth it. Next time you are experiencing a painful walk to or from class, take a moment to slow down, take a long deep breath and realize how lucky we are to be in Malibu and experiencing the stairs together.
Follow the Graphic on Twitter: @PeppGraphic
Contact Abby Wilt via Twitter (@abby_wilt) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org