The Chairlift? Or The Stairs?

Hello everyone!

Here is a scenario for you to consider.

You have just finished a good game of sled racing with your friends. You won that game and you feel ecstatic! But you are also tired. Your friends congratulate you and talk about how good you are at sled racing. You thank them.

After some talk and laughter, you and your friends waddle over to the edge of Ski Hill. The view looks great! Except, you notice a storm rolling in from the mountains in the distance. You quickly consult your friends and they suggest that everyone goes for a gentle evening inside the Ski Lodge; the toasty, warm fireplace pops into your mind. You decide to join them!

To get to the lodge, you and your friends either take the chairlift or the stairs. The chairlift has always been known to be the most efficient way of getting to the bottom of Ski Hill. The stairs, on the other hand, are a bit wonky and slightly wobbly. They trek a long way down the hill through some of the roughest terrain you have ever seen. Before you make your choice, you suddenly see your friends eager to hop on to the chair lift. They signal you over to join them quickly; the storm is getting closer. You glance in their direction for a moment and then you swiftly look back at the stairs. You then think for a bit.

The quickest way to get down Ski Hill is to travel by the chairlift. The chairlift provides relatively comfortable seats that will support you all the way down. It takes about a couple of minutes for you to chill a bit before you continue your journey away from the bottom of the hill. If you go onto the chairlift, you are bound to see a lot of people who you can talk with so no trip on the chairlift is a lonely one. Your mates will be there to make you happy all the way!

Then there is the stairs. Obviously, the slower option. The option that provides the most exercise and awareness just in case you find yourself (just about) tripping down the hill. Every time a step gains weight from a penguin, it fluctuates and creaks; it makes a lot of penguins feel very uneasy. But what do you know? Hardly anyone even goes by the stairs so you are not too sure what it is like. You either stick with what you know – where you will have all of your friends – or you decide to be a little bit ambitious. But you are becoming more tired and achy by the second.

Your friends begin to command you to follow them and are wondering why you are anxiously looking down at the stairs. Your heart is begging you to go to them but your mind (for some reason) is telling you to go down the stairs. Very suddenly, lighting shatters the island and now everything is getting noisy. Before you know it, your friends are being cast away in a sea of penguins floating towards the chair lift. Then there is you right beside the stairs. When you gaze down the stairs, you feel a chill down your spine and you start to feel lonely. Awkwardly, you shuffle in the snow whilst more penguins rush by your side.

Your beak feels wet. 

Raindrops start to fall, sparsely.With instinct, you head towards the chairlift until you realize that it is full. Penguins stare at you oddly as if you were disgusting. This makes you feel heart-torn. As the chairlift begins to start off, an abundant of penguins laugh and giggle as you are being swallowed by a fog of loneliness. Your heart begins to race and your body shivers. You look around you and you see nothing but snow and a hint of rain. The rain will only become more harsh so you take a glance back at the stairs. Your stomach churns but you tread towards the first step, desperate to get to the lodge.

As you take your first step, the stair collapses and you graze your back as you hit it hardly against a sharp rock. Thunder roars! Holding in the pain, you carefully take another step onto the stair below. With little pressure, it squeaks a little. Retreating slightly, you start to lose coordination. Your feet juggle around until you accidentally slip onto the next step, heavily. It remained reluctant to move. The adrenaline eases for a bit until lightning blinds you. Before long, a shower of knives surround you. Every time it hits your skin, you feel stabbed and bruised. Hurriedly, you trek down the stairs even though they object to you and moan whilst you do so. Now you are getting drenched which forces you down into every stair. This makes it even harder for you to articulate your movement.

On your way down, a gush of wind decides to join the party. It blows the sharp rain into your face so that you cannot see a thing. Now and then, you strain your eyes open until they are constantly punched by the rain. Your heartbeat races a bit more as you struggle down each step. Despite the challenge, you still meticulously make your way down every step. Every stair is the only way for you to get down Ski Hill. Sometimes, you feel tempted to detour into the snow on both sides of you but you are unaware of how beneficial it will be for you.

So you continue down the stairs.

You have no clue how far you have come but you do know that the storm has only just begun. Throughout your journey, you encounter a stair that will trip you up until your whole body become deformed. This has happened to you quite a lot now; it is becoming more of a habit. But it makes you even more determined to get to the Ski Lodge. Once you get there, you will be able to relax all of your muscles and you would drink some hot chocolate to warm you up. In your mind, you are soothed but, physically, you are on the brink of collapse. But your mind speaks to you and projects these images into your head. This makes you resilient!

As you go down the stairs, you begin to feel a lot more confident with your coordination. Even though you can hardly see a thing, you have now developed a strategy that will help you a bit more. Wind, rain and lightning are still up against your soul but your mind shines a torch onto your path so that you will continue to persevere down the hill. You still get hurt by the rain and the whistling wind but it only makes you feel stronger. All is going well, unlike before until…

You underestimate the step below and you plummet into a pile of snow. But wait!

Pain and agony is heaved onto your back so you find it very difficult to get up. Then you realize that you are in snow; not on a rigid and splintered step. The snow is actually quite soft on your skin but it is still awfully cold. You are glad that you were not face to face with a plank of wood. With a stifle of joy, you gradually pull yourself from the ground and look in front of you. The ground is level. You look behind. There are dodgy-looking stairs planted up a steep hill.

Yes, you reached the bottom of the hill. With realization, you unexpectedly laugh and this warms you up a bit. It is still raining like hell and the wind is howling at its loudest but you forget about them since you won against the stairs and reached the bottom of the hill.

Swiftly, you look around in search for the lodge. A warm, toasty flicker of light dazzles your clouded vision. You can already sense the warmth of the fire and the cosy atmosphere that surrounds it. Unconsciously, you dash towards it with leaps and a few trips in the snow. Now you are confronted by the door and as your flipper lightly touches it, it heals the harsh bite of cold that is drilled within it. With ease, you turn the knob and you are welcomed with a satisfying aroma of hot chocolate and a waft of recumbent delight.

You sit on the comfiest armchair, that faces the fire, and you rest…

You are forced awake by the sound of your name; it turns out that you unwarily fell asleep for a while. You sluggishly open your eyes to the sight of your friends. You immediately can tell that they look unhappy. Consequently, you ask them what is wrong. In response, they talk about how claustrophobic and light-headed they felt on their journey down Ski Hill. It was busy, after all. It took them only 2 minutes to get down the hill and they made it to the lodge just before the storm got worse. Even though your friends got to the lodge quickly and safely, they feel somewhat bored and unsatisfied. In the end, they did not drink the hot chocolate or snuggle beside the fireplace. Instead, your friends hung out in the attic (played a couple games of find four) but, mainly, waited around for you to turn up. They were curious and afraid of your late appearance which made them feel scared and nervous.

But now that you and your friends are together, they seem a bit happier. You think for a second and wondered why they were not as happy as you expected. After all, they took the chairlift for an easy journey down to the lodge without getting wet or hurt. However, you went through a lot more to get where you wanted but you feel that you have actually achieved something. Instead of following the crowd, you were brave enough to go on your own adventure, knowing that it would be a lot more difficult. It was. But you made it and now you feel rewarded. You smile at your friends and they slowly smile back at you. It even meant a journey without friends to get where you are right now but you know you did the right thing because they are standing right beside you. You feel lucky. You praise them for their concern and invite them to join you by the fire for the rest of the evening. They thought that it was about time that they relaxed for a bit.

You did too…

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4 thoughts on “The Chairlift? Or The Stairs?

  1. That was such a great story! I was confused at first and thought it would be a “pick your path” story. Anyways, it was so dramatic and interesting. Keep it up!

  2. u make it sound like getting bruised, injured, and probably sick from the rain completely justifies not following the crowd

    • Hey! Within the story, it is justified that way to make people realize that going solo is not always going to be easy. It was metaphorical. But the ending reflects how the tough journey is worth it and it makes it much more rewarding too. Obviously, I wouldn’t expect anyone to get “bruised” by being ambitious. I tried to integrate a lesson within a story with a possible scenario. In this case, the penguin experiences a rough storm but that actually represents the barriers that may stop you on your way. The chairlift represents the easy and popular choice most people take in life. The stairs represent the abandoned choice in life; the one that requires most effort to go down. Though working hard helps you to achieve more which is why the penguin eventually made it to the lodge. Like I said, a metaphor. 🙂

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