One-Liner Wednesday – Exercise

St. Augustine Lighthouse

I once worked with a man who was a self-proclaimed exercise guru. He worked out regularly at a gym, and discussed his workout routine, if you were interested. I’d heard the stories and I was well-aware of the machines he used, including, the Stair Master.

One day, we were coming into the office together. I didn’t realize that he had split off from me, as I was on my way to the staircase, so that he could take the elevator. When we met again on the 3rd floor, I asked him why he didn’t take the stairs. He said:

Real stairs don’t count!

The timing of that comment helped it to live on in our family. At the time, I was adding a second floor to our house. I was routinely schlepping stuff up and down a ladder, working off a ladder and working off staging that required climbing a ladder for access. When my wife would see me trudging back up, she would often say: “Too bad that isn’t exercise.” We share that comment back and forth to this day.

A few weeks ago, I was on my way to St. Augustine from Daytona Beach. Cheryl, yes, the real Cheryl, the one who moonlights in my bar on certain Saturdays, had suggested I take the coast highway instead of the Interstate. I didn’t have a lot of time, but I had enough to swing by and tour the St. Augustine Lighthouse. I’m not going to share much information about the lighthouse today, and I’m not sharing all the photos – because it has doors, hint, hint – but I will mention that is has 219 steps and I climbed them all. To which my wife said:

Too bad they don’t count!

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. You can follow this link to see the one-liners from the other participants.


  1. I read this piece twice, blinking every 20 seconds. My eyelids have never looked better or felt more toned. I’m getting admiring glances everywhere I go and my optician has asked me out on a date. Sadly, I had to tell him I love my partner and that I hate opera.
    Now drop and give me 50!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Of course they count! Because you had to go right back down. And anyone knows the down trip is much more difficult than going up. 😉 I love these images. Thanks for sharing since I still have not stopped in for a ‘real’ tour there. I’m jealous. Lol. Can’t wait to see your doors shots. Oh, and that is my favorite kind of selfie. Reflection ‘accidentals’ are awesome! ~the ‘real’ Cheryl 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the real Cheryl is more of an authority than that guy. Thanks for all the retroactive exercise credit :) I’m glad you liked the selfie. I love reflections (although I’m not fond of mirrors) and I didn’t notice this one at the time, because it was so bright. I’m sure you’ll be up there at some point, and you’re right, the steps coming back down are worse.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This guy clearly doesn’t wear a Fitbit or similar apparatus because all stairs count. :-) But, it did remind me of a time when I was in charge of HR, and a female employee around 30 came to lodge two complaints. The first one was that the newly constructed fitness center was not moving along fast enough and why this was so infuriating to her and her fitness regime. Then she had been given a new locker location in her work area, and she was very unhappy that she had to bend over to access it. :-) Thanks for the double chuckle today.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ha ha – thanks for the chuckle-back, Judy. We had a fitness center in the building we were in prior to 2004. This guy never used it, even though it was free. He said he got a better workout at the gym across the street. I checked it out, and we actually had newer versions of all the same machines. I like walking, taking the stairs and riding a real bike. I also like working around my house/yard. Steps are steps, they count.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t care what your former work buddy said about stairs, they count for me. All of them! In fact, I’ll be walking down a set of stairs on the way out the door this morning and then back up those same stairs after work. I figure I’ll burn about .005 calories…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He would say that your real bike doesn’t count either, Mary, so we know where he can shove his opinions. We’re on the 3rd floor, and every one of those steps counts. Up and down, they count. Enjoy your exercise routine :)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Ah, the eternal question of what counts as exercise. Do 12 ounce curls count? What about sex? Oops, maybe we shouldn’t go there. I love this posting, Dan. Here in Northern Virginia people will often drive miles and miles to work out on a treadmill. Treadmills are one of those pieces of gar that never made sense to me–perhaps they remind me too much of a hamster that I once had.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 219 steps up and 219 steps down – if it’s not exercise I’ll be darned if I’m going to give myself a heart attack trying to do it!!!
    I’ll wait till tomorrow for the doors. :)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. :) I wish someone had told me the 309 steps down and up to Point Benita lighthouse weren’t real stairs in exercise before I went down. Maybe my legs, lungs, and butt wouldn’t have burned so bad, and been so sore the day afterwards. :)

    I love those circular staircases. I always think of Fibonacci’s Circle when I see that pattern.

    When we did our Epic USA Road Trip back in 83 we spent the night in St. Augustine while on the way to Orlando to play in the Mouse’s playground. When I saw how lovely the town was and read about a little about its history after leaving I wish we had stayed a day or two. I’ve never made it back there but would like to.
    Thanks for sharing the lighthouse view, and trip around the stairs…all 219 of them!
    Can’t wait to see the Doorscursion post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Deborah. There is so much history in St. Augustine (it is the oldest US city), but I only had about an hour to spare on this trip. I might get back there next year, for the next version of this meeting. If I do, I’ll try to squeeze in a little more sightseeing.

      309 steps is exercise. Your legs burned for a reason. I have the same reaction to circular staircases, as you mentioned. The cool ting about lighthouses is the gradual narrowing of the structure as you go up.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. As a former PE teacher and personal trainer, I can tell you, they count and the one-liner “Every little bit helps” is true in exercise as well as elsewhere. Love the photos today! Now off for some breakfast before going out into the rapidly warming day to take a number of steps walking with a friend and her two Irish Water Spaniels, my typical way to start Wednesdays.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks John. I’ll have a few more photos tomorrow. I love lighthouses and this one was fun to tour. Now, get back on that treadmill, cause those walks on the beach with Lucy don’t count.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. In college, I took on a part-time job delivering law books. While delivering the books to a law firm near the top of Minneapolis’ highest building (the IDS tower), I made the mistake of taking the stairs to go from the 50th to the 49th floor. To my horror, I discovered that all doors on the stairway were locked from the inside. You could enter but not exit. I had to carry my books down 49 flights of stairs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow – too bad that didn’t count, you could have gotten credit for stairs and weights. I’ve done that in hotels, when trying to take the stairs up or down one floor to the ice maker.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. HAHAHA! That’s a hoot!
    Also not real exercise, rowing an acutal boat and walking on actual sand?
    I’m done climbing lighthouses, (since 2013) but this is one I can say “Been there, done that!” :)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. In our capital city Wellington there are around 178 stairs from the city up to the university lecture halls. We’d arrive hot and with a sweaty brow most trips. I would take these each day with my roommates.

    It struck me as silly that others would take the bus to the gym at the same location. Then complain when the warm up or routine or circuit was too tough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a lot of steps each time, Nick, but I can see where it would be a good warm up. My friends and I used to run down 20 floors at the Cathedral of Learning for lunch, because the elevators were so slow and crowded. We would almost always make it before the elevators. We didn’t go up often.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Great pictures. Love the selfie! :) I love those stairs. That’s fairly brilliant, having landings like that. Of course, if they were MY landings, they’d be all cluttered up with bookcases and computer junk. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like family “inside jokes” which get people to laugh or giggle. I liked the idea of people who go to the gym and exercise don’t see the value of hikes in the woods or walks in neighborhoods. This was a fun “one liner,” Dan!
    Your lighthouse in St. Augustine photographs are beautiful, Dan!
    I have a few lighthouse pictures from cameras awhile ago but they don’t come out very well when attempting to duplicate from print to phone. I think it means I need to revisit them. ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think any reason to revisit a lighthouse is a good one, Robin :)

      Hiking, walking, riding a bike, climbing real stairs, it’s all exercise. I don’t need to be in a gym.


  14. Climbing stairs at home or wherever COUNTS!!!!
    Bill Bryson in his fantastic book A Walk in the Woods writes that he met once a woman in his NH town who drove to the gym while she could have walked there. Even better she could have taken a walk in the woods since the Appalachian trail has a trailhead in town. Not that she should have to walk the entire A.T. But it shows how people don’t count physical activity as real exercise. Which is (in my humble opinion) a mistake.
    Cannot wait to see the doors now!

    Liked by 1 person

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