The Unger Report: Stairway to Fitness

Getting a Free Workout Climbing a Santa Monica Canyon

Brian Unger braves the stairs...

Brian Unger, microphone in hand, tackles the 154 steps up a Santa Monica canyon wall. Steve Proffitt, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Steve Proffitt, NPR

There are plenty of famous stairways in America. There's the steps leading up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, featured in a scene from the first Rocky film. Washington, D.C., has the steps of the Lincoln Memorial — and the spooky Georgetown stairway featured in the final, fatal scene of The Exorcist.

In Los Angeles, cracked Day to Day reporter Brian Unger scales another staircase of note — a Santa Monica landmark that's been overrun by fitness fanatics.

People from all over the city gather in a tony Santa Monica beachside neighborhood to lumber up and down the 154 steps from the floor of a canyon to its rim. It's a morning ritual for all types of L.A. inhabitants. But Unger asks the question: How much fitness is too much fitness?

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