More days than not, I take the stairs, from ground floor up to the fifth, to get to my workplace.
I don't know exactly how long I've been doing this, but it's been long enough where I feel like it should be getting easier. You probably inferred, correctly, that it does not feel easier yet.
Every day, I trudge into the reception area out of breath, hopefully not sweating too hard, and need a minute before speaking in full sentences to co-workers. And because I think too much, I worry about what these co-workers think.
If someone sees me entering or exiting the stairwell, I worry they think I'm a smug athlete quietly judging their elevator usage. If they see me just a few steps away at the top, I worry they think something is creepily wrong with me, to make my cheeks flushed/my breathing so heavy.
So it was with much excitement that I recently discovered: I'm not the only one!
I was passing the stairwell entrance on my way to the company kitchen when the door opened. A guy emerged and followed me to the kitchen, so I said to him: "Hey, did you take the stairs all the way up?"
(I seem to have forgotten how much I dislike talking right after the stairs. Either that or I subconsciously suspected he got on at floor four.)
He had indeed. Once he caught his breath, we commiserated about how horrible they were, even though we each had athletic hobbies, and how apparently you just have to train on the stupid things if you want to get any better.
What a nice discovery, that I'm not the only self-important athlete/heavy-breathing slug in my office.