A Story About Stairs

Writen by Dr. Paul Ochoa


It was late May 2019 and I was in Colorado doing a weeklong fellowship observation. It was a small sleepy town with not much to do so most of the suggestions had to do with some outdoor activities. Being born and raised in New York City outdoor activities aren’t my first choice but, when in Colorado…

If you’ve ever been to Colorado Springs you’ve definitely heard of the Manitou incline.  It’s about a 1 mile hike at an incline that reaches over 2000 feet in elevation from the bottom to the top. It was originally built as a cable car trailer to transport materials to the peak and when the construction was over it became more of a tourist attraction. The railroad was removed but the railroad ties were left so the entire hike is about 2744 steps straight up!

I started at a nice pace and wanted to keep it up for as long as possible. Occasionally, the local army basic training groups would RUN passed me only to collapse from exhaustion 50 feet ahead.

I kept my pace.

As I climbed and climbed what felt a lot like MORE THAN 1 MILE!.. I saw an older woman keeping a pretty similar pace. I caught up to her and decided to just stay behind and adjust my pace to stay with her. At times I had to struggle to keep up and at other times I was able to catch my breath and move with less effort.

About 3/4 of the way up, about 30 mins into it, I was so tired I decided id take a quick break and catch up to her after a quick rest. Right as I stopped she immediately turned around and said

“Don’t stop. Just slow down”

and kept going.

When people ask me about how our practice is doing I’m reminded of this woman. I can’t honestly say things are totally normal and back to where we were last year but, thankfully, I can say we’re not in danger of closing our doors like so many other small businesses are in danger of.

I’m grateful to you all for your continued support and for keeping us in mind when your own bodies seem like they can’t continue to climb that mountain. So when you’re feeling like you need to stop, let us show you how to slow down instead.