The Exorcist

Today’s run was the most brutal of the year so far. It has left me dazed. The heat – about 90 degrees – was only part of the story. I took off for Iwo Jima, paused for pix, then cruised through Rossyln to Key Bridge. From there, I crossed to Georgetown and decided to look for the Exorcist stairs.

When I saw them, I was stunned. They are gorgeous in person, all gothic and shaded and narrow. And steep.

Who would ever design such stairs? What purpose could there possibly be for steps like this? While I was pondering that question, I saw two really buff guys were getting ready to run them.

I knew that I couldn’t run them. I began to walk away. I had my pictures – that was all I really wanted. But something pulled me back. A force. My own pride, certainly, but something else.

I stared at them again. Even if I couldn’t bust them, I could certainly trot up them, right? Just a nice jog?

Oh my God.

They are so much steeper and longer than they look! About halfway up, I felt like something in my body had gone wrong. I was dizzy. I had to grab the railing. I slowed down and walked the rest of the way up. At the top, I took a single picture.

I was dizzy and felt like I was going to vomit. I walked up Prospect Street, looking for a place to get some water. My mouth was totally dry. My legs, which felt so springy just moments before, were suddenly spent. As I limped home, I felt physically ragged but also invigorated. I had just discovered my new goal. To speed up those stairs like they ain’t no thang.

I love this town! And I love those horrible stairs.


  1. So cool to see those stairs!! Scary!

  2. Wow, that’s pretty cool. Quad/glute workouts are always the hardest. Good luck with it.

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