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Why Escalators and Crocs are Ruining America

Those who know me know I am prone to bursting into agitated fits of commentary about various habits of society that I find particularly grievous.  These fits include the level of my already squeaky voice going even higher accompanied by flailing hand gestures.  One topic I would like to touch on today does have ties to health, while the other one is just something I felt needed to be shared, and I will attempt to tie it in with health, although the foundation will be admittedly shaky.  These two topics are escalators and the footwear we know as Crocs.  Come along into the twisted, colorful world of Chelsea’s opinions.

One of my biggest obsessions in life besides health and wellness is travel.  It is hard to describe the feeling I get when I am embarking on a new trip, but it’s probably pretty similar to the anticipation a teenage boy feels when he thinks he’s going to get to second base for the first time.  This enthusiasm even carries me through the more trying aspects of travel- waiting in lines, airport security, and watching the TSA throw out your favorite lotion because it wasn’t in the right sized bottle.  Anyone who has traveled with me in the more recent years can probably attest that I am the most annoying travel companion for this one simple reason: I detest escalators.  I would like to preface the following explanation by saying if you are disabled, elderly, or a small child, escalators are helpful and even imperative conveniences.  For everyone else, I plead with you…. — USE THE STAIRS!

It is clear by alarming statistics and just plain looking around that crisis is an accurate word for what is going on with health in America these days.  The airport is like a microcosm for the rest of society and my observances most likely carry over to regular life outside the airport.  Here’s the breakdown of my beef with escalators:


  1. Why stand on a device that moves slower than you could go by using your own two legs?  In my mind, the airport should be a place of movement and efficiency.  People are in a rush to make their flights on time or just have the mental comfort of knowing they found their gate.  I have seen people standing in line on an escalator that is moving at the pace of erosion while checking their watch 5 times and huffing in exasperation.  There is this amazing stationary device directly next to the escalator that is as deserted as a library on a college campus on game day.  It’s called the stairs.

  2. Escalators ruin a perfectly good workout opportunity.  I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I know I am going to be forced to sit a LOT.  During the flight, waiting to disembark the plane, eating some airport food, perhaps a delay at the gate.  It’s like the airport invites you to use the movement of your own body as little as possible. Here, stand on this upward climbing escalator, then this flat escalator, then (gasp) you have to take 5 actual steps to the train that will deliver you 100 feet to the next terminal.  How about trying to get some steps in before you are forced to be immobile?  Get a little butt burn going on those stairs.  You have already checked your giant bag at the airline desk.  Haul that carry on bag up the steps as an extra arm workout.  Instead of hitting Starbucks immediately upon arrival of your 6am flight, do some laps around your terminal to get your blood flowing and your energy up before you park yourself in front of your gate and zone out on your phone or tablet.  Come on, people!  We can be better!

  3. If you want to see my head on the brink of explosion, watch me trapped on a downwards escalator without the ability to pass anyone.  We as a society even find walking DOWN the stairs as too much of a burden?  I can’t even.

Now, maybe you have never thought about escalators in such great detail as I have.  Perhaps my rant will allow you to think back on this blog with fondness and propel you to take the stairs the next time you are at the airport.  That would make me supremely happy.

The additional point I wanted to make as stated in the title of this post regards a particular type of plastic footwear most commonly referred to as Crocs.  Do crocs have anything to do with health besides they make me queasy when I see them in public?  Not really, but there is a general theme happening with Crocs and escalators and it is this: we have given up.  To me, escalators represent giving up on wanting to even expel the teensiest amount of extra effort to reach a destination (i.e. goal) faster.  This can be translated into real life where we have given up even attempting to do 10 minutes of a work out, or taking 5 minutes to cut up a cucumber and fresh peppers to bring for lunch, or reaching into a cooler and moving your hand two inches to the left to grab a bottle of water instead of a soda.  Crocs are the ultimate footwear defeat.  We care so little about our appearance that we are willing to wear plastic gardening shoes in public that make our feet look like Goofy the cartoon character.  We are settling, and I won’t accept it!

What happens if we can rouse ourselves to make even an effort we might see as microscopic?  How could that affect our health, our families, our co-workers?  I think profoundly.  And hopefully, with some style.


(yeah I wasn’t about to waste $3 on a stock image of Crocs, so pardon the watermark)

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