Seacliff Stairs

Next Level Fitness Challenge

Seacliff has been in the news a lot this year. The historic storms we experienced in January hit this beloved State Beach especially hard and eventually destroyed a section of the pier. Now, it has been announced that the pier is scheduled to be demolished. Subsequent to that announcement, crowds of people have paid a visit to the beach to see one of their favorite landmarks one last time.

This scenic beach is also home to my favorite fitness challenge. I started working on this challenge during the last weeks of December, last year. I stopped drinking alcohol during the pandemic, and I quit using cannabis the first weekend of December. I hadn’t been much of a drinker, so quitting beer was no big deal. I did it mainly because of the unpredictable nature of the lockdown. You never knew what might happen, and I wanted to be ready to drive at any time should the necessity arise. I was a pretty heavy stoner, though. Quitting cannabis required a bit more effort.

In reality, it wasn’t that hard. Any side effects I felt I did away with through rigorous exercise. And this is where we get to the stairs. I love the stairs because they are hard to climb. Plus, they overlook a gorgeous beach, so I was often able to photograph a beautiful sunrise and then get in a few flights of stairs before I had to get busy with work or daddy daycare during the school break. This combination of having fun things to photograph and a challenging staircase to climb was the perfect way to get me in a new groove, and as a result I started out doing the stairs with my camera bag on my back.

I usually have my camera with me, since I always have a desire to make photographs and because it is the safest place to keep my gear. I load up my bag, too. I have two cameras, a laptop, and all the necessary chargers and batteries. This substantial weight gave the stair climbs that much more of a challenge.

As I started making the stairs a part of my fitness routine I went from doing 4, to 6, to a dozen flights, and I would tell my daughter about my progress. She would ask: “how many did you do today?” I took this interest as motivation and a chance to inspire her with my work ethic. I thought it could be a chance to lead by example, and so I started stepping up my workload. Eventually, I got up to 21 flights, and then I somehow managed to commit to 33. She was duly impressed, but I told her that my real goal was to get to 46, my age.

“Why not go big and shoot for 50?” she asked.

Challenge accepted.

As of today, I have completed 51 laps up and down those beastly stairs a total of 9 times. I do it to train my body as a photographer, to optimize my health, to metabolize food at a higher rate, and to show my daughter how much heart I have. It’s a way of telling her that I love her.

If you want to buy a print of this image, the print is $120 and there are a variety of other options including prints on metal, prints on wood, and framed and matted prints!

Leave a Reply