Climb: (v) to ascend, especially by using the feet and sometimes the hands

Everyone understands the choice but no one discusses it. It is an unspoken piece of information that is decided in the internal workings of every human being.

You have to find out if you would like to go to a gym and sweat four times a week so that when you climb a flight of stairs, you won’t sweat.

There you go. I don’t know why nobody talks about it.

People working out in the gym are not thinking about how they’ll feel when they’re sixty-five or seventy years old. They just want to make sure that if they’re on a date and there’s a half-mile walk to the auditorium, or a two-hour wait standing in line at the restaurant, or four flights of stairs to ascend to reach the destination, that they will be able to do it without looking like they’re flirting with death.

Also, nobody wants to be the one panting the loudest in the bedroom after sex. If you’re a man and it sounds like you’re going to have a heart attack because you made love to your woman, it may just discourage her from trying again.

It is our vanity that presses us on to bench-press.

And for those who think to themselves, what do I care if it takes forty-two seconds for me to recover my breath after climbing a flight of stairs?–well, you will never catch those individuals stomping, dancing or doing a Pilate.

Do people live longer because they are aerobically able to climb without much difficulty? There’s no evidence for that. They just look prettier and healthier doing it.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s much to be said for reaching the top of a mountain with your clothes undrenched.

But unless it is a major concern, or you’re just bound and determined to convey that your tight pecs, flat abs and muscular legs make you more sexy, I think you will probably join the ranks of those who file away from the gymnasium.


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by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acclivity: (n) an upward slope.

I suppose you could have a long debate over the issue of whether life is downhill, even-footed, or a climb.

Candidly, there have been times when I have felt noble to suffer the slings and arrows of misfortune, believing myself to be on a holy quest–uphill–for the common good. Yet too often, in the end I discovered that I put myself through some unnecessary puncture wounds for very little payoff.

Likewise, I have run away from the acclivity and have searched out a path that tilted downwards, only to discover that it was an access road to an unforseen hell.

Yet at the same time, walking straight ahead on a plain path often brings bland results, with no challenges, improvements or subtleties to discuss over dinner with your equally bored family.

So what IS the case? Are we supposed to be looking for the acclivities, approaching them as slopes to climb “because they’re there?” Or are we smarter if we lower our blood pressure points and seek an easy path?

Here’s what I have found: Find important things to do and never question if they’re difficult OR easy. Just confirm that they’re important. If they happen to be easy, allow yourself some style points and creativity in embellishing your results, to get extra credit. If they end up being hard, then take a few extra minutes of planning to simplify the process down to its rudimentary necessities and try to make it fun.

But if you find yourself walking straight ahead, repeating the same things over and over again, be very frightened. That is the broad way of destruction, which is always crowded with mediocrity, boredom and bickering.

Human beings don’t die from a challenge. Most human beings don’t croak because they have rested up. Human beings are much more likely to deteriorate because difficulty is avoided at all costs.

So am I looking for an acclivity? No. But if it’s important, I’m not afraid of it and certainly have talents which enable me to make it enjoyable.

It’s not so much the style of the path as it is making sure that the path has great style.