Taking care of my fat ass

 We had a fire drill at work today. 

 Now, I can go down the 7 flights of cement stairs (even though it kind of freaks me out since I went down a flight of stairs face first a few years ago); but the next few days afterward, I know I’m going to suffer for it.  The calves on my legs will cramp up and I will be in A LOT of pain.  Out of stubbornness and pride, I have dragged my fat silly ass down those stairs numerous times over the years.

 Then it occurred to me, who was I trying to impress? 

 I think we often have the urge to be the “poster girl/boy” for fat and healthy (I know I do); but you know what?  I know I can get down those stairs if I have to (again, my ass may be fat and silly, but I love it just as much as anyone and will always do my utmost to save it). 

 So I told the powers-that-be in our office, I would no longer be participating in drills.  I will wait in the stairwell and if there is a real emergency they can either call me or send a cute fireman up to save my aforesaid silly fat ass.  I made it clear that if I had to participate in the drills, I would be absent for the days afterward because I was no longer willing to come into the office hobbling around in pain. 

 I have come to the point of realization that no pain is no pain.  Yes, it would be great if I could romp up and down 7 flights of stairs without consequence.  And I probably could, if I wanted to really work at it.  I don’t.  At least not now. 

 And you know what?  I don’t have to.  Can’t make me, nobody is the boss of me.  So there. 

 So my message is look at what you do and why you do it.  And then do what is best for you – what you need to do, what you want to do.


14 thoughts on “Taking care of my fat ass

  1. What was their response? While I agree that putting you into pain is not acceptable, I’m not sure that your bosses actually have the power to let you off the hook. It’s usually the town requiring a certain number of drills a year, I think? At my old office, the drills covered all of the companies in the building, and there were firemen checking all the floors to make sure everyone was out.

    • Actually, while my bosses couldn’t let me off the hook, the building managers can. If I get hurt on those stairs – it’s workers’ comp. Most places do not require a “disabled” person to evacuate in case of a drill. The routine is that you stay in the stairwell and await “rescue”. It just requires the permission of the building managers; so they know what is going on. Oh, and someone from your office is supposed to stay with you —- which makes you very popular during fire drills — because nobody wants to go down those stairs!

      • Oh, awesome! I was worried that you’d get jerked around, and also worried for some theoretical HR person stuck between a rock and a hard place. It makes sense that there would have to be some sort of accommodation available, I just hadn’t thought it through.

  2. Rock on! And seriously, a lot of non-fat-asses can’t do it either. They suffer silently, too! I remember this specifically because working in a corporate training center, we’d all be in heels and suits. When the first drill happened I thought it was real and left everything but myself behind. Silly me! All of the ladies in my dept (granted, 10-20 yrs older than myself of varying health & fitness levels) took their time, grabbed all of their belonging and sauntered down the stairwells. By the time everyone was out of the building there was no room in the parking lots because these ladies and all of their stuff. No thanks! I am so pleased to hear you stand up for yourself on this!

  3. You know what? I did something similar over the weekend.

    My husband and his songwriting partner were asked to play at the birthday party of a friend of a friend. I was invited along, as was the songwriting partner’s wife and sister. The idea was that all five of us (and I’m the smallest one, mostly by virtue of being shorter than anyone else because all five of us are fat) would get into one fairly small SUV built to fit four adults, but with an extra seat belt in the back for one more relatively small person, and drive to the party…two hours away. At the end of the evening, all five of us would squeeze back into the same smallish SUV and drive the two hours back.

    Now I would have enjoyed going to the party. I love parties and the friends are people I love dearly and see rarely. But I’ve ridden as the fifth passenger in the larger version of the same model SUV and wound up after fifteen minutes with one leg either asleep or screaming in pain and feeling as if the seat belt was going to slice me in two at the waist. The prospect of four hours of that kind of misery was not appealing.

    I skipped the party, and I don’t regret it. I told my husband precisely why I wasn’t going, too. Next time he can either arrange for my comfort or do without my company again. I will not make myself suffer that much pain. Period.

  4. Yay! what a great post! I struggle with this as well, feeling I HAVE to. But this has reminded me I don’t have to do anything. Thankyou!

  5. I must admit I’d be a bit afraid of being left to my own devices, in the event it turned out to be a real fire, but maybe I’m just feeling insecure.

  6. Thing is, many people can’t do the fire drill without being sore afterwards – regardless of their body size or shape. Every time we have one, most of my office (except for my Lycra-wearing cyclist boss) complain for days afterwards that they’re sore.

    Those stairs aren’t meant to be used all the time – they’re meant for emergencies. In an emergency, I’m going to use them. Saving my life will be worth the back pain for the next couple of days.

    In a drill, I volunteer to be the example of someone who is unable to use the stairs, and take the lift when we get clearance. Besides, in our building, hot firemen turn up for the drills too – so you get to hang out with them until the clearance is given!

    • I am able to get down the stairs. And if there is a fire, I guarantee that I will do so – and quickly. What I’m not willing to do is have my legs be cramped up for days afterwards for a drill. People in the office know that I am there, and can call me on my cell phone to let me know if there is really a problem. And, if they choose to do so (which they usually do because average sized folks aren’t big fans of going down those stairs for a drill either), usually one or two of the attorneys stay with me — just because I give them an excuse to not go down. Besides, it’s usually pretty clear it’s a drill because we have building fire monitors (in their pretty little orange vests) wandering around our floor during the whole time — which I doubt they would be doing in case of a real fire.

  7. Pingback: 2010 in review « Fatties United!

  8. I am a larger girl…and this week we had our fire drill..I thought 24 flight…shoot I can do it!…I have been doing like 2 miles on the elyptical dailiy…NFW…OMG i can barely walk…I did it though!…Not ever again!….And I also found out that if you have to walk down stairs walk down them in a diagonal direction. http://www.stairclimbingsport.com/

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