Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Climb the Mountain........No Problem!

Our grand business in life is not to see what lies dimly in the distance,
but to do what lies clearly at hand.
                                       Thomas Carlyle



I did something last night that I never would have imagined, well I would have imagined but accomplishing it was another matter. I happened to meet with the young professionals last night on the top of the escarpment (Cedoke Stairs) or as I like to say "Top of the Mountain in Hamilton Ontario." Two of the young professionals had already been up and down once already before Melissa and I had arrived. I had agreed to go because I thought it would make a nice photo op.

After taking photos from the top I started down the metal stairs to the platform all the time taking my time and clicking away with my camera. The view was incredible even though there were only muted browns and murky greys left after the snow of our winter had retreated. I could imagine the beauty when the spring colours arrive. Before I knew it I was at the bottom. Well that was easy. I turned my eyes to the sky and then it hit me, that was a very steep climb back up. I remember a conversation with my brother about the mountain stairs earlier in the day and he had commented that they were very steep and a strenuous workout.



There was an older gentleman standing at the bottom beside me looking a little exhausted yet exhilarated and I thought he may have already done it a couple of times much like those young professionals, I thought to myself he must be a local and used to this. He looked over to me and smiled I asked him while looking back up the mountain if there was a way for my daughter to drive down here and pick me up. He smiled and said "Yes" I have a feeling this was not the first time he had heard that question. We both laughed. With my never willing to admit defeat attitude coupled with the fact that the young professionals and Melissa were somewhere in the middle ready for another go at it, I started up those stairs.

The great thing about going back up the stairs was that I noticed numbers written on every step; I stopped and took a photo at #50. Motivation and a sense of impending accomplishment crept in, I have a feeling this was the whole purpose of those numbers.



By the 100th step I was wondering why I was wearing my heavy Gortex coat with a wool blazer and a turtleneck underneath. Oh yes I remember, I was dressed for that night out at the Chinese place on Ottawa St. and that I had only came to take some photos, I had never thought I was actually going to be doing this. The layers came off one by one; I bent down to take a photo of the #200.
I watched as a young girl had figured out how to slide down the side of the metal steps, I smiled and thought that was very clever, I asked her if she had any tricks to get back to the top and she laughed and replied "Not Yet."

#250, I turned to look down then quickly turned to look back up, I could see the top of the mountain now. It was at this point I could feel the burn in my legs, a familiar burn much like the one I felt after snowshoeing to far and then having to snowshoe back on the farm. It appears I am really great at getting the first part done like down the mountain or to the back of the farm, but when it came to returning to the top of the mountain or returning back to the house I seem to overestimate my abilities.



I kept going and started to wish I had brought a bottle of water instead of my camera (those of you who know me know that is something I would never say normally). That coat tied around my waist and that wool blazer hanging on my arm was starting to feel very heavy. This is where the "What was I thinking" thought popped into my head. I could see #283 just a little farther up I quickened my pace. I was a little disappointed I thought there was 300 steps but I stepped off that final step onto that bare ground on top of the mountain and smiled. Melissa was standing waiting and handed me a bottle of water. The young professionals "High fived" me and I must admit that felt incredible.

At that exact moment my phone rings in my coat pocket, I asked Melissa to fumble around in that pocket of that heavy coat tied around my waist to find it as I was still breathing a little heavier than normal and enjoying the water. Melissa answers "Hello" It was her Dad meaning My Hero I think to myself perfect timing. After they had a little chat I finally grabbed the phone and said Hello. It was so nice to hear his voice, I explained my heavy breathing to him and he was impressed with my feat. I was a little excited to say the least; I continued to chat as I watched Melissa and the young professionals head back down the stairs for another go. Youth was on their side. I bid goodbye to My Hero, he was off to feed the cows and I was dreaming of feeding myself Chinese soon. I wandered around the top of the mountain for a bit enjoying the view of the city below with a story of accomplishment rolling around in my head while waiting for the young ones to finish that other go.



I think the next time I am lucky enough to travel back to Vancouver The Grouse Grind will be waiting and maybe this time I will be crazy (oops I meant to say brave) enough to tackle it. I may have to start at the top and go down first. What do you think D in B.C.?

 I knew I could do it.

Later





42 comments:

  1. Congratulations!! You were like the little engine that could!
    Wow, that would be quite the climb!

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  2. Well done! They are so difficult!! Hope you got home before the storms hit!!

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  3. Amazing and awesome!! You've inspired me B, especially since those stairs are rather closeby, I think I need to climb them. Want to join me next time you're in the 'hood? : )

    Congrats!
    Andrea

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  4. Congratulations. You have every reason to be proud of yourself.

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  5. So proud of you! I'd never make it.

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  6. Good Job; as long as it is not steep I think I could manage, however otherwise I am scared of heights!

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  7. CONGRATULATIONS! I knew you could do it when I first started reading this post. You have to be in good physical shape to snowshoe around that farm the way you do. Awesome job girl!

    Cindy Bee

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  8. Whoohoo! I'd have loved to have walked those stairs with you. It is a wonderful accomplishment, and especially to have Melissa there with you.

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  9. Congratulations Buttons! I am proud of you!

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  10. I know that I could not do that anymore! Grouse is easier. Ride up, ski down. :-} Congratulations!

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  11. Congrats, Buttons! Now, can you walk at all, today? I bet your legs are stiff and sore!

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  12. That is totally awesome Buttons! I got tired just reading you post :) Congratulations!

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  13. Well done B! I'd never make it.

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  14. my knees and thighs ache just thinking about it - the day after! :)

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  15. Wow! Congratulations Buttons. I have to say I am very impressed. I bet you were a tad sore the next day though.

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  16. 289!! A BIG deal. The trip out always seems fun but the return is made easier because home--or a fine Chinese dinner, calls.

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  17. That is so awesome! Congrats! I'm glad you made it the whole way and didn't stop. You are a fighter for sure :)

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  18. Woohoo! I'll bet that Chinese tasted really good after that feat! :)

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  19. Good for you way to go WOOHOO ! I would not make it all the way as my right leg couldn't take all the climbing . Glad you are having such a good time with your girls . Weather has been lovely a bit of rain for today and this evening but April showers bring May flowers ! Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

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  20. I knew you could do it too.
    Now rest!

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  21. Oh my goodness is all I can say ............ :)
    Rain :)

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  22. You have so many good adventures to share, Miss B! Way to live life to the fullest.

    You are only as old as you THINK you are.

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  23. Good for you, Miss Buttons!!!!!
    Hugs!! Mandi

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  24. Oh, good for you!!! I've had an experience like that with the lighthouse at Point Reyes in California. Not only do you walk UP the hill from the parking lot to get to the edge, then you walk DOWN 346 steps to get to the lighthouse. Now, guess what? 346 steps back UP, and then you stumble down the hill to your car! Oh, the good old days when I was younger.

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  25. I tip my hat to you! You ROCK, girl!

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  26. Congratulations!!! I see photos and videos of people racing up the steps of the bleachers, and I think they are nuts!!! But you did it the smart way, with lots of breaks for photos!!! I agree the scenery would be better in another couple of weeks, though...
    Have you seen any crocuses there, yet? I did not see any in my trip south...

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  27. CONGRATS! My legs would be SCREAMING if I did that.

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  28. I became fatigued just looking at all those steps! Mercy me, you did great! Congrats on a big accomplishment. :)

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  29. Wow. That's great Buttons!

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  30. Don't you LOVE the Niagara escarpment? I do hikes daily during the warmer month on the Bruce Trail which ends in the north of my county at Tobermory.it's a magical place ( which isn't always as exhausting as your Everest like assault!)

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  31. Way to go Buttons! Farm girls are tough!

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  32. Uggh! I hate climbing stairs!
    But- slow and steady wins the race, sometimes! Bravo!

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  33. Good for you!! I'm so impressed! Those stairs are awesome. I don't think I could do it (even if I wasn't on crutches--lol). You make life an adventure, and I love reading about it! Hope you enjoyed the Chinese food.

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  34. Amazing!! The view and the accomplishment :) No wonder you kept pausing to take pictures!

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  35. You did well to climb to the top with steps...I couldn't do it, would have to stop too many times to get my breath....but it looks lovely on the way up...hugs M xoxox

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  36. Ha! I knew you would/could do it - isnt this the same woman who tried to climb over rail fences with snowshoes on?...and you want me to be surprised? ;p

    pfft

    Next time you should try it with snow shoes on - and i know for certain you could/would !!! ;p

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  37. Good for you!! My legs are twitching just thinking about it! LOL!!

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  38. i think i can, i think i can!!!

    AWESOME!!!

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  39. Yowzer! Amazing . . AND - you took time to document and share it with all of us.

    You ARE Brave.
    -g-

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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