I consider myself a pretty fit person. I Flywheel/Flybarre five-ish times a week (and yes, do back-to-back classes), run regularly, do yoga, and am always sampling new workouts. I’ve done CrossFit (well, twice), have run two half marathons (which equals a full, right?), and can dance for at least five hour straight (if given enough Red Bull and vodka).

I tell you this because recently, I encountered a workout where I LITERALLY ALMOST DIED.

I was flying to Miami for Memorial Day weekend (and trying not to be a douche on social media). I had a suitcase and my giant tote bag, and it was a real bitch getting through security per usual, because I had to take out my laptop, remove my jacket and giant travel wrap, take off and put back on my strappy sandals, etc. After I got through, it was such a process getting my shit back in order (and I was distracted daydreaming of beach and booze) that I just walked off…..without…..my….suitcase.

At the massive Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (which I like to call The HJ), you pass through security and promptly take a long escalator down to the subway-train-thing which takes you to your concourse. So that’s what I did. And about halfway down, I realized my mistake and PANIC. SET. IN.

I don’t think my mind has ever worked so fast. First thought: Ok, I’ll just go back up. Second thought after looking to my right and seeing another set of DOWN escalators: There is no “going back” once you’ve gone through security. Third thought: I will have to take the train all the way to baggage claim and then back through security and will 100% miss my flight and by that point, they will have already confiscated my bag because it was left unattended. And that’s when I looked behind me to see an (almost) empty escalator…and started running back up.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to run up a quickly-moving, extremely long escalator the wrong way whilst wearing sandals and carrying a giant bag, but it is the hardest thing you could probably ever do. Within seconds, my heard was pounding like crazy and I was breathing like a Biggest Loser contestant on the first day (you know, when they cry and throw up and almost quit). I  kept looking up to see if I was making progress, and slowly (very slowly), I was.

And then…there were people. I had to rudely push past three ladies (I had no breath to utter “Excuse me”) and one of them actually said, “You’re going the wrong way.”

REALLY, BITCH!? You seriously just said that to me? I can’t even.

When I finally got to the top, I almost blacked out. The steps were coming at me so fast (I already have escalator anxiety due to a falling incident in 2005), and I honestly didn’t know if I could make the necessary leap to get off safely. I officially knew what it was like to “see stars.”

I finally did it, stumbled to the first bench to sit down collapse, and a TSA agent came over immediately. Through blurred vision, I spotted my suitcase and reached out with a desperate arm. As in, I couldn’t speak. I collected myself enough to croak out “That’s my bag,” and they brought it to me. After finally convincing them I did not need medical attention, I sat for a few minutes to catch my breath, got up (very slowly), and made my way back to that dreaded escalator. (For the record, I did get upgraded to business class and have never ordered a cocktail so fast.)

Now, I would rather go to dinner with my ex and his new girlfriend in my most unflattering outfit and drink Sambuca all night than do that EVER again. BUT if your spinning/boot camp/CrossFit/Ironman training isn’t giving you enough of a challenge, you might want to attempt this. Since my last name is Hesseltine (and nickname Hess) and I have experienced this intensity first hand, I’m deeming it The Hesscalator Workout. You only need three things and you’ll be be heaving/crying your way into your skinny jeans in no time!


So next time you fly, you might want to get to the airport early and try out this fitness plan until TSA makes you stop (or you die first). So what if people get annoyed? They should know it’s bikini season. And if some bitch tells you you’re going the wrong way, please trip her for me.


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Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. hahahahaha! I cannot stop laughing. OMG. I’m so sorry that happened to you, but that is hilarious.

  2. oh no!!! this story makes you borderline heroic in my eyes, I probably would have just accepted the $200 change fee, even with my flywheel training..

    i can’t believe people didn’t move and told you that you were going the wrong way..common sense folks..people do that shit because they have to..geez

    i guess on the upside you can pretty much conquer any fitness challenge..also i hope you had a drink or seven once you got to miami!!

  3. Ashley – I am positive that I’ve never laughed so hard on a Monday morning. Thanks for being the bright part of this week! And I wish they had a security video of you climbing the escalator to post. It would be epic!

  4. You know there is an elevator, right? That is how people in wheelchairs/strollers get down.

    Regardless, I am sure you were quite the sight.

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  6. HAHAHA. God damn, I cannot stop laughing. Should this be an Olympic sport? YES.
    The Pumpkin Spot

  7. You are such unique person…. I can’t stop laughing !!!

  8. […] nothing responsible like answering work emails or exercising. But these days, I’m more into fitness and maintaining my bod while on vacay so I don’t come back looking like Kirstie Alley after a Twinkie convention. I’ll hit a […]


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