San Maximum: Going Up and Down

By Austin Cowan
Blog Content Contributor

If there is one thing that San Marcos is notorious for it its stairs. There are hills everywhere in San Marcos, making it almost impossible to go anywhere without a change in elevation. The leg workout San Martians get everyday from just walking around town, in the blazing Texas sun, causes sweat to flow down people’s backs. The sweat may sound kind of disgusting and people in San Marcos may be out of breath when they arrive to their desired destination, but at least they have great calf muscles. Whatever your path is, going up or down a flight of stairs is unavoidable, and therefore part of the maximum San Marcos experience.

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You can’t avoid stairs at Texas State University. These stairs lead up to the LBJ Student Center from Alkek Library. Photo by Austin Cowan.

Texas State University students know all too well the daily horror of walking up the stairs of Alkek Library which is built on a slope that feels unconquerable. Some students find creative ways to avoid Alkek stairs, however, you will still find yourself mounting an incline no matter which way you go. Instead of dreading these stairs while making your daily commute to class, try to find a way to embrace them in a fun way. Some students ride their bikes down the stairs. 

Sweat is a large complaint by many people in San Marcos. The boiling Texas Heat already makes people have beads of sweat dripping down their neck, but the stairs turn those beads into rivers of sweat. I have arrived to class, after hiking across Texas State campus, with my back completely covered in sweat where my backpack was. This is kind of embarrassing and disgusting so if there is someone out there with this problem here is some helpful advice. Bring a second shirt. Wear one shirt on your way to class, but before entering the classroom go to the bathroom and switch into your class shirt. This will allow you to look more decent in class, because you will appear dry. This advice will work for anyone anywhere in San Marcos, it only requires minimal preparation.

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Stairs are everywhere on Texas State’s campus. Photo by Marlene Núñez.

The reason for all the stairs in San Marcos is because of the fact that the city is so close to the Balcones Escarpment. The Balcones Escarpment is where the Gulf Coastal Plains transition into the Texas Hill Country. The Escarpment is the unique reason why there are so many hills in San Marcos. The Texas Hill Country is one of the most beautiful regions in Texas, creating many parks for hiking and outdoor activities. So instead of being annoyed every time you have to go up a slope, distract your exhaustion with the  breathtaking views. Purgatory Creek Greenspace and Spring Lake Preserve are both great hiking places people can go to. They have many trails, some steeper than others, but both are great hikes. Hiking around these parks are also a great way to get used to walking on inclines. Hiking is a great workout so if you live in San Marcos that can help you better endure the daily stairs. You will become a stronger hiker while having a great time.

Going up or down stairs is not always an enjoyable activity but it is one that all San Martians must face sooner or later. Instead of dreading this activity, embrace it. Climbing stairs is one of the best workouts a person can have. Try to see the stairs as a blessing, keeping you more active and healthier. Every step that you take, whether going up or down, is part of the maximum San Marcos experience.

Feature image by Austin Cowan.

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