Do you go down stairs/steps without looking?

Inspired by this thread. I can’t go down stairs/steps without looking where my foot is going. I see people IRL or in movies walking down stairs in a house or steps in front of a building/courthouse/etc while talking and not looking as if it were nothing. Except for the two steps on my porch, I can’t do that. Anyone else this way?

With my eyesight and bad balance I very carefully look where I place my feet (especially this time of the year when outdoor steps are likely to be covered with ice).

The first cursory glance determines whether I will bother tracking each step.

Like you, I can’t fathom how you see these people trotting downstairs as if gravity is no threat at all. Maybe it’s because of my big feet, but I’m always slightly worried I’m not going to get enough of my foot on a step. Tall metal stairs are the worst - going up I can do 3 stairs at a time, coming down I often want to take it like a child, two feet per stair. :frowning:

I am precisely the opposite. After an initial, pretty much subliminal, assessment of the stairs in question, I’ll happily trot down them without looking at the individual steps. But if I happen to think about what I’m doing and concentrate on the separate steps, I can get quite confused and misstep. I’ve twice today stumbled doing this. Another problem over-thinking things, to my mind.

Even with unfamiliar steps I can get the rhythm after the first couple of steps. In the TV shows, the ease of navigating courthouse steps seems to intentionally inidcate the character’s familiarity with the situation, as well as providing a symbolic seque.

Not with two cats (and their toys) in the house.

This. I have poor sight and am really accident-prone, plus a weird morbid fear that that is how I’ll die - falling down stairs. Not only do I watch every step, I hang on to the hand rail too - both ways.

wow, this is one of these things that has never even occurred to me before.

I didn’t actually know that anyone watched each step. It seems strange to me. like others have mentioned, I assess the gap and drop of the first step (unconsciously I suppose) check that there are no obstacles that I can see (I’m in a house with a 3 and 5 year old) then I’m away.
I never look and I normally skip down them making nice little percussion rhythms as the mood takes me.

I’m not putting down those who do look of course. You are right and I am wrong and will probably die in a tragic staircase related accident.

Not unless I have my hand on a stair railing. I trip over my feet.

On a related note - anyone else get frustrated with tiny piddly-arse steps that your feet can’t fit into? My feet, though admittedly large for a girl, are only average-sized for a human, and I frequently wish the default size for steps was about 50% more than it is. And this doesn’t just apply to old buildings (which, fair enough, would have been built with a shorter population in mind) but even to constructions from the current decade.

Small stairs are evil!

For some reason I got into the habit of going up and down the stairs at work with my eyes closed. Not sure why I do it, but in the event of a smokey fire I’ll be able to negotiate the stairs and escape. :slight_smile:

Going up is much easier than going downstairs, especially when not using the handrail. The hardest part is convincing yourself that you counted right and you really are at the landing.

I was just going to complain about this. The stairs in my building are only 9" ‘deep’ (meaning across the surface of the step, from front edge to the bend in the step). I have a hell of a time walking down them because I keep trying to angle my feet to make the whole foot fit, and going up I’m nervous because my heel doesn’t even rest on the step at all and I feel so unstable. Gosh workplace, I’d love to take your advice to take the stairs and get some exercise, but someday those stairs are going to be the basis of a worker’s compensation filing, if they haven’t already. No thanks!

Stairs that I know well and are sized right, I can fly up and down, maybe skimming my fingers on the handrail.

It depends. The stairs from my apartment, I’ll fly down 4 flights. But those are every day, known and predictable steps, where I know they are clean and clear of debris, and I use them at least twice every day. The back stairs (wood decking) are more difficult for me, as they are not “standard” as I am accustomed to, and are a little short to me from front to back, so I have to plant my foot on a slight angle which is very awkward and I have to check every few steps. I only use the back stairs to take out the trash.

Strange stairs, and especially CTA stairs (even ones I use every day) I always look because you never know what there is to dodge. Plus, a couple stations I frequent, I swear the steps aren’t all exactly the same height, so I always make sure my hand is on the rail in case a change in step-height makes me trip.

Going up in any case, I don’t look at my feet. I just scan the steps enough to note if anything is in the way.

I have to look, and I can’t think too hard about it or I’ll fall anyway.

At home I have to be always watching closely because the girl kitty has A Very Bad Habit of cutting through the banister at the top of the stairs and getting in front of me while I’m going DOWNstairs.

I told her that if she’s not more careful, she’s going to end up making me take a header, and then she and the boy kitty will have to eat off of my dead body for days before my sister thinks to come check on me!! :eek: :smiley:

If not at home and I’m not in heels or encumbered with bags or boxes, I’ll racket down a stairway pretty fast without looking too closely. Going ***up ***time with a bad left knee is a little slower.

I don’t actually look at the stairs but I always have a hand on the railing due to my inate clumsyness. As long as I’m running a hand along the railing I can charge up and down with impunity but take away my railing and I’m plodding along a step at a time.

I read that the second leading cause of accidental death in this country is falling down stairs. Uneven rise/run is usually the culprit. We have a friend who is just now getting back to work after falling from the 4th step and getting a serious concussion over a month ago. We’re very careful.

Given the date, I would have sworn that the title of this tread was going to reference this famous quote from Martin Luther King Jr: “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

I have to see my feet when I’m descending. I hate having to carry big boxes, furniture, etc. down stairs because they block my view.

I’m a looker.

Oh and I also look down stairs/steps when I’m walking down them. :smiley: