Yesterday was a full day… I started out in Ashford, which is near the Southwest corner of Mount Rainier National Park. The festival wrapped the night before and I had a great party with the organizers and a few of the film makers who were able to attend.
I drove to Bellevue to have lunch with A before heading back to Vancouver. We had some Mexican and I did a little movie shopping, but it was nice to just hang around for a little bit.
My goal was to get back to Vancouver by 5:45, in time to do Monday Fun Day. Which is a group of people from work who come together on Mondays for various fun activities. Last week it was touch football, this week someone thought it would be a good idea to do the Grouse Grind. Normally I would think that person is drunk, yesterday though I thought they were on hard drugs and drunk at the same time. The Grind is 2800 feet of elevation gain in 1.8 miles. Someone at some point thought this was a good idea. I assume it was a decision made in a bar.
Somehow I got it in my head I needed to be in front of the pack, which meant setting a pace that will kill most people. I have no idea why I thought I needed to practically run up the hill, when I say hill it’s a approximately 56% slope (30 degrees) which mean’s it’s fucking steep. Someone at some point installed 2830 stairs to “help” you make the climb. Which means they installed more pain into the already painful climb. Basically after the first 1/4 of the climb (that’s 1/4 elevation gain not distance travelled) I had to stop and take a bit of a rest. Which meant I had to watch the rest of the group pass me by and have a bit of a chuckle at my pain. Which I can’t blame them, I would have laughed at me if I had passed me while I was wheezing on the side of the trail.
After the first 1/4 I decided I needed a goal, I had to make it to the top before T (My boss), which I know is a pretty low goal, but the reality is I needed to make it there before him. Just to save the suspense I made it to the top before him, not that much faster, but I made it.
I realized something after the first part of the hike / death march, I remembered something from Survival Science and the snowshoeing trip we had done, I remember taking my time and not really stopping just plodding along with the goal in mind, but not forgetting the journey.
With the journey in mind I no longer needed to make it up the hill in record time, I just needed to make it to the top in one piece. I had a much better time walking than running and I had a great time. I ended up talking with a couple of Germans, one is a student here and the other is visiting her friend here. I decided that I had made the right decision in walking up the hill without the need to race, it was much more satisfying than the alternative.
At the top we had a few beers and some nachos, which basically undid all the exercise I had done on the way up the hill, but the beer was cold and the nachos were a 5 out of 10.