We all know that hill climbs are a critical component of training. I find myself today in the mountain town of Ithaca, NY at Cornell University for a training seminar. Of course I had no directions for where to park so I pulled into the first entrance and was told by the security guard, we’ll call him Shecky, that I needed to park in the garage and get a permit. I thought, ok, fine I can do that. I pulled into the garage and followed the visitor parking signs and came to a dead end. A sign there clearly said permit required. Unfortunately there was no booth and no people around.

I walked up two flights of stairs and still no signs of life.  I finally found my way out of the garage, but even then there was no one I could see that was there to offer me a parking permit.  I decided that perhaps the class organizers would have the permits.  I found my way down a steep hill and over to the law school.  I signed in and picked up the two large books I was going to need for the training course.  I asked the volunteer about parking, and she said she had no idea.  Great!  I had walked past a guard station a few hundred feet away from the law school, so I thought I would check that out and see if they could help.

I spoke to the woman in the station and she told me I needed to buy a $10 parking permit.  I said, ok, fine.  She then asked for my license plate number.  Hmm, I don’t know what it is.  “Can I just take the permit and get you the info on the way back?” I asked.  “No I need the license plate number first,” she replied.  I looked at the hill I had just come down, and back at her, and said ok.  I walked up the hill loaded with my books, laptop, and all of my gear, it must have been 600 feet of elevation.  I took a picture of my license plate with my phone, dropped my gear off in the car, and walked back down.  When I got to the guard station I gave her the number and she just wrote it on the permit.  I can write a number on the permit, why did she make me walk up the hill?  Twice?

She then told me not to worry about going back to my car, she would call and make sure they don’t give me a ticket!!!  That’s great, but all my gear is in the car.  So needless to say, I had another climb ahead of me.  I think I ended up walking up 1200 feet of elevation and more than 2 miles.  Awesome!