When I went to New York for the first time, I was 24. I think I was expecting to be enchanted; instead I took my shoes off every night wondering why the hell Carrie Bradshaw bothered to buy such expensive shoes if they were going to get covered with Manhattan street juice each time she went out.
In the end, the thing that really impressed me about New York was a staircase.
We passed a girl running up and down the stairs to the Highline, and ever since then I've been longing to live in a place where you could combine exercise with infrastructure. Shreveport never felt conducive to running. There were no paths near me -- mostly there weren't even sidewalks -- and the scenery and weather never really inspired me to get outside. (Plus, I kept having to save stray babies.)
I dreamed of moving to DC and running the monuments. Or running along Lake Michigan in Chicago.
A few weeks after we moved to our house in Minneapolis, I came across these:
And I knew, kind of reluctantly, that I had to justify four years of stair-envy by actually using them.
So a few times a week I head out for the lake, ending my lap with four minutes of running stairs. Currently, I'm running to a little playlist I like to call People I Want to Punch in the Face, and I've never run so hard in my life.* **
Allow me to explain... we'll start with the self-explanatories:
1 // Chris Brown, Transform Ya
2 // Miley Cyrus, We Can't Stop (Miley gets an extra evil eye from me for continuing to make songs that I secretly love. But she's just being Miley, guys.)
3 // Kanye West, New Slaves
And the ones that might need a bit more explanation:
4 // Britney Spears, Ooh La LA
Punch factor: Brit, you've strung me along since you were "the pride of Louisiana". (No really, when I was in high school there were Pepsi billboards with this slogan.) I've seen this video. You're not even trying anymore. Your thong was inside of your jeans and you didn't even have a snake!
5 // Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines
Punch factor: the mustache. That annoying little mustache. Also the way he laughs when he asks what rhymes with hug me?
6 // MIA, Bad Girls
Punch factor: this song makes me feel like I could actually punch someone in the face if I needed to. Nothing against MIA.
7 // Lorde, Royals
Punch factor: this sixteen year old seems like she's going to be trouble. Someone might need to slap some sense into her one day.
8 // Jay Z, Picasso
Punch factor: I want to be married to Beyonce. Life is so unfair. I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to covet my neighbor's wife, but luckily I don't think I'll ever be able to afford real estate in Jay Z's neighborhood.
9 // One Direction, What Makes You Beautiful
Punch factor: You probably want to punch me in the face for listening to this song. I can't help it. It's actually scientifically impossible to listen to it without smiling.
10 // Icona Pop, I love it
Punch factor: They need to be punched in the face for making such an annoying... yet oh, so catchy... song that refuses to leave my brain.
* Please don't judge my musical tastes on this list. I promise I'm better than this.
** I don't actually condone violence. Duh.