Nature’s Stairmaster, aka “Torture”

by Sharon -- October 27, 2009


This past Friday was our “take it easy day”.  After three full days of extensive walking around Vancouver, we decided to take a little break for our feet’s sake and do some work on our computers.  The day consisted of a self-guided tour of Gastown to which Jason took reins of and became the tour guide.  Although it was raining, Jason had us stop at each landmark as he read its historical significance out loud to the “tour”.  Thankfully, the tour guide allowed questions, so I kindly asked Jason for a lunch break and we ended up eating at the extremely exotic Old Spaghetti Factory.

After days of attempting, Jason finally convinced me to do the “Grouse Grind” with him on Saturday.  He had made the mistake of reading the information about the Grind from the website earlier in the week (this trail was called “Nature’s Stairmaster” due to the entire trail being uphill, and those who were considered very athletic could complete the trail in about an hour while the average person normally takes around two). I was firm in letting him know that I would not go and that I would be happy if he wanted to go by himself.  Just to set the record straight, I am not out of shape, but I consider anything regarding running, jogging, or going up hills to be my personal kind of torture.  I simply prefer a more entertaining form of exercise that is not monotonous and boring, otherwise I am easily discouraged.  While the Grouse Grind was of no interest to me whatsoever, Jason was able to pull a yes out of me and on Saturday morning we were on our way.

With coffee in hand, we departed on the trail.  Directly ahead of us was a mother and her 5 year old daughter (who ended up beating us to the top by the way) and I thought ‘okay, if this little girl and her mom can do it, so can I”.  Unfortunately, about 10 minutes later I thought I was going to turn around and go back down because I didn’t realize just what I was getting myself into.  I am still astonished at how these people CHOSE to climb up that mountain on their own free will!  I thought I was going to pass out even before we reached the 1/4 mark and I must have told Jason that I hated him about 30 times.  By the 1/4 mark, I figured that the only way I would be able to complete this trail was to reward myself with a turkey burger for dinner.

It became a little easier once I came to terms with exactly how difficult it was.  I developed a habit of stopping and taking quick water breaks every 5 minutes or so, panting like a dog while Jason looked as if he was taking a leisurely stroll down the block.  I somehow made it to the top after two hours, surprisingly completing each quarter of the climb faster than the previous quarter.  I think the key for someone like me (who despises the thought of walking uphill for 2 straight hours) is to know what you’re getting yourself into, and to pace yourself while taking frequent, quick breaks.  (I still have yet to get my turkey burger reward).

Quote of the Day: (My personal favorite part of the climb was a Korean dad and his young teenage son whom he was forcing to run up the steps in sprints.  Although his son looked like he was going to pass out or throw up, he kept shouting “Hurry!  Hurry!” in Korean.  The child was defintely not the most athletic crayon in the box, but his dad continued to push him to his limits.)

Sharon:  “Aren’t kids supposed to have more energy than their parents?”
Jason:  “Not when you’re a fat Asian boy.”

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3 Responses to “Nature’s Stairmaster, aka “Torture””

  1. I think I would have expected a turkey burger at the top of the stairs and not aloud my fellow traveler to let me leave the city without one :) but I am extremely intense when it comes to food.

  2. i meant “allowed” not aloud. sorry

  3. my poor baby!! forget about turkey burger.get yourself somthing ten times better. I am sure plenty of good stuff over there!

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