That there has been my work out all week. 40 ft of stairs, about a block south of my place. Once upon a time just getting up it used to leave me so winded I needed 5-10 minutes to recover. I actively avoided walking anywhere beneath the hill because the pain of climbing back up would completely outweigh any benefit I could gain from going down there. Saturday I wound up walking back up the hill, and noticed it wasn't so hard any more, I needed maybe 1-2 minutes to recover before I was able to keep on.
Monday I decided, almost as a whim, that I'd like to be able to walk the hill without being winded at all, and I set out, walking down the hill was easy, and the first climb up nearly killed my legs, the protest was mostly, "wait you only do this when you REALLY have to" and not "we can't do this." on the second climb up I was just as dead as I recall being after one climb, but on Tuesday I went out and did it again.
I think that's what progress is, it's climbing the hill every time you find yourself on the bottom. Today was my third day of walking, and is, for the first time I can recall getting up and going into the rain, to do my work out. There's this guy around campus, who is out every evening doing his run, I remember him the most though, because one day when it was all but a blizzard out, I was riding with a friend to go get soda, and I saw him waiting for the light to turn so he could cross the street. Only instead of standing he was down there in the slush doing push ups. That image stuck with me, he was serious about being the best he can be, and wouldn't take any excuses.
Getting out there today was a kind of enlightenment for me. I have, inside of me, that same crazy dude doing whatever it takes. I just have to let the chains off of him, and listen when he says, "dude you could do one more." What ever happens, when I find myself at the bottom of that hill, climbing it will make me stronger.