SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Creativity is the name of the game for everyone in the Bay Area that has gone without the gym for nearly a month. Working out at home can present challenges in San Francisco where room to spread out comes at a premium.
But one city dweller has it all figured out, and he’s going the extra mile to stay in shape. Or in his case, the extra step.
“I’ve got this staircase in my backyard,” said Greg McQuaid. “It’s equal to about a floor.”
McQuaid is known to most Bay Area radio listeners as “Irish” Greg, a former host and producer for the defunct powerhouse station KFOG.
He lives near the entrance to Mount Davidson Park and has sweeping views of San Francisco from his backyard. Visible is the new monolithic Salesforce tower which stands over 1,000 feet tall, and is the inspiration to McQuaid’s new shelter-in-place workout.
“I decided I’d do 100 floors per day, which is about 1,000 feet,” he said. “I would run them, but I don’t want to be the klutz that ends up in the emergency room with broken collar bone.”
It takes McQuaid over an hour to hoof it up and down his stairs, but he says he’s gotten better at it as the days go by.
In reality, this “challenge” is a piece of cake for a guy that ran a whopping 52 marathons in 52 days and raised $200,000 dollars for lung health along the way.
“I’m an asthmatic,” McQuaid said. He technically falls in at-risk category for exposure to COVID-19 after kicking a smoking habit years ago. “I decided I’m going to take the shelter-in-place seriously and not leave the house.”
So McQuaid has turned to social media in times of social distancing. He posts screen shots of his workout, and you donate to the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. So far, he’s received roughly $1,000 generated entirely from his own social media channels.
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Day 13 of my Shelter in Place/OCD Garden Steps Challenge to raise money for @sfmfoodbank during this difficult time (link in bio.) I’m climbing the steps in my backyard til I reach 100 floors of vertical elevation gain (1000 feet) daily until this thing is over. I’ve already climbed the equivalent of 13 Salesforce Towers! Since my #airbnbexperience #hiddenstairssf is postponed indefinitely this is a way to stay somewhat in shape, keep from going crazy and help those in need . . . . . . #gardenstepschallenge #airbnb #socialdistancing #quarantine #shelterinplace #salesforce #foodbank
“A lot of people have lost their jobs and are having a hard time feeding their families,” he said. “I don’t expect to be inundated, but if you can afford to donate, they would appreciate it.”
There’s plenty of time to contribute with social distancing guidelines extended to May. McQuaid says he’ll do a Saleforce amount of steps until some normalcy is restored.
“When I ran the marathons my wife was worried I’d wear out my knees,” he joked. “Now she’s worried I’ll wear out the steps.”