The summer after I graduated college (2002) I decided that it would be a good idea to get a membership to a gym. This was partially motivated by boredom, and partially motivated by the fact that the YMCA downtown offered a discounted membership rate to CIU students.
So, every week day I'd go to the gym. All of the workout machines were on the sixth floor. Since I was there to work out, I resolved to always take the stairs instead of the elevator. I think it was a couple of weeks in before I noticed that, outside of the building was a fire escape. Over the next few days I would look at it from the inside of the building and wonder where it started and ended. But I had yet to achieve the level of boredom that would be required for me to make my dumb decision...
So, one Sunday afternoon, I decided that my curiosity and boredom had carried on their love affair in secret for too long. Their love child had grown too big to hide. I drove downtown, found a parking spot in the lot adjacent to the YMCA (which belonged to FBC) and began to explore how I could find the fire escape.
It didn't take me long to find out where it started and, too my delight, had a staircase at the bottom that used springs to lift itself after use. Editor's Note: I don't know why I think this is cool. I just do. So I began to climb. The above picture is of my everest.
Even though heights (or, more specifically, falling from them) is one of my two biggest fears (the other being the dark), I pressed on towards my goal of reaching the summit. Editor's Note: This was me practicing mental toughness before I even met McGill! I finally reached the roof and enjoyed a beautiful view of my city. Then, I decided to descend back to where people with far less courage than I dwelt: street level.
Here's where the problems started: about the time I decided to climb down, the church ended its service and everyone started pouring out into the parking lot. Knowing that my vertical adventure would probably be filed under the "illegal" column, I decided it would be best if I waited for the parking lot to clear out before I started down in full view of the congregation.
So I waited... and waited... After about 20 minutes I realized that I had to pee. After about 20 more I thought about relieving myself where I was, but I had already made that mistake once. (Don't worry. One day I'll blog about that story.) So, after 45 minutes of waiting, I couldn't take it anymore. I started down, praying all the way that no one would see me, arrest me, throw me in jail, and watch me pee myself while I sat next to my cellmate, "White Power" Bill.
As I stepped off of the previously mentioned awesome springy staircase, I ran into the YMCA's first floor. While I... emptied the tank, I realized the importance of factoring in your bladder when planning to scale a building. Remember kids, if you learn from your dumb decisions you seem like less of a moron when retelling the story.
By the way, there's a better than good chance I'll climb that fire escape again tomorrow...