ROCK SPRINGS — Climbing the stairs around the Western Wyoming Community College athletics facilities will no longer be a grueling experience. At least that what Western’s Athletic Director Lu Sweet has in mind.
The brown and white staircases that leads to the gym, wrestling facility and meeting rooms on the third floor at the college received a makeover this summer by Sweet and her helping hands. With nearly 49 steps in participation, the rather mundane staircases now portray optimistic messages with the intent to brighten a stair-goer’s day.
Sweet’s idea follows that of Rock Springs High School and Eastside Elementary. Both schools have also done similar subliminal attempts with times tables and positive words on staircases.
Although she enjoys walking up the stairs to keep herself fit, Sweet understands that not everyone is enthusiastic about walking up the stairs. She hopes that her messages will take the focus off the stairs and redirect a person’s attention to the uplifting thoughts.
“I go up fifteen stairs and see fifteen different little messages. I forget about the stairs and read each one as I go on. Pretty soon, I’m at the top,” Sweet said. “If I can throw a bit of positivity on someone, then maybe they’ll be a little bit more positive in their day towards the next person.”
Not only have Sweet’s messages been applied to the staircase, but they have also travelled abroad. She explained that recently her staircase lost a message due to an anonymous person taking it. Ironically the message that was taken by the stranger was “Be a Giver.” She was easily able to replace the lost message with “Keep it Cool.”
Among the many messages that Sweet found through Google searches, posters and her own imagination, her personal favorites are “Be the Reason Someone Smiles Today” and “Sometimes You Do Need to Slow Down.” They serve as inspiration to her on a daily basis and help her to keep her priorities in line.
The encouraging words posted by Sweet offer a fresh reminder of the ability to turn something ordinary into something extraordinary with relatively very little.
“There are ways to get our messages across,” Sweet said. “It doesn’t take up a lot of time or effort. It might make a big difference to somebody.”