Monday, November 9, 2015

Running up the Rocky Steps

I saved a Philadelphia memory to start the week. The destination of my Friday afternoon walk was the Philadelphia Art Museum steps. I wanted to see the Rocky statue and the view of downtown from that perch. I wanted to run up the steps.

My route wound in from the river, so I started at the top of the plaza with the tourists, those who'd already run the stairs and were pumping their arms above their heads with the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and City Hall spread out behind them.

I knew that there was a Rocky Balboa statue at the foot of the steps so I made my way to it and snapped a few shots. As I turned to do the stair climb myself, a little reluctantly — I was tired! — I saw a gaggle of high-schoolers, at least 30 or more, spring from a bus. They were moving so fast  they were a blur. But there was no mistaking it: They were racing — not running but racing — up the 72 stone steps. Behind them three or four adults — teachers, I guess — were in fast pursuit. There was no way they could catch up, but they were trying.

It was funny, it was crazy, it was one of those "life force" moments so full of energy and joy that I knew I would remember it forever. After I saw it, I had no choice but to run up the steps myself. At the top I felt breathless and happy and ready to go home.
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