CREVE COEUR, Mo. — There are many hidden treasures in the St Louis area. One happens to be across from Creve Coeur Lake. It is a quiet spot.
“That’s my peace. That’s my serenity,” said Rickkita Edwards.
But it is not a place where she goes to meditate. The Creve Coeur steps are where Edwards goes to get in better shape.
She calls the 200 plus steps heavenly these days. But in the beginning, Edwards had different feelings after climbing the flights for the first time.
“Oh my God, that was horrible. The steps from Hell,” she recalled.
The initial experience was sort of a purgatory of pain. “Oh my God, it was treacherous,” she said.
What made those first days on the steps so much more of a challenge was the fact that Edwards was in poor health at the time.
“Over 200 plus pounds. Walk past a mirror and be like 'Oh, I don’t want to see that,'” she said.
Edwards believes the drive to shed the pounds started thanks to a higher power stepping in.
“God literally gave me the strategies to do it myself. It was just me and God,” she said.
There was also an inner determination to fight through the agony of the workouts and continue to push forward.
“I was like 'You know what Rickkita, you’re better than that. Keep pushing,'” she said.
These days Edwards takes on the steps at least 4 times a week. She’s nearing her 57th birthday and encourages others much younger than her to take on the challenge.
“I’ve introduced so many people to these steps,” she said.
The Creve Coeur steps have offered her more than a chance to get in shape. The steps have also helped with lifting her spirits.
“You want to give up sometimes, but going up these steps I start thinking about how I used to feel. How I had to be on 5 different medications. I don’t every want to see that person at 289 ever again,” she explained.
The steps have shown her what accomplishment and triumph look like.
“This is what’s keeping me healthy. I feel so amazing. It’s like I did it,” she said.
She believes everyone can experience the same feelings that she does. They just need to discover the steps that can transform their lives.
“If we find a place of peace and happiness, then I say that should be your encouragement that should be your motivation,” Edwards explained.
For another challenge, Edwards recommends the flights of stairs leading up to the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park.