Yesterday was a full dayâ€¦ 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 itâ€™s a approximately 56% slope (30 degrees) which meanâ€™s itâ€™s fucking steep. Someone at some point installed 2830 stairs to â€œhelpâ€ you make the climb. Which means they installed more pain into the already painful climb. Basically after the first 1/4 of the climb (thatâ€™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 canâ€™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.