Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Grouse Grind

One of the things I miss most and love most about Vancouver is the mountains. They've been a big part of my life from the moment when I was 4 and pointed over at Grouse and declared it 'my' mountain since the snow on it looked like a K to me. Then there was a large portion of my life where I ate/slept/dreamed snowboarding and went 4 days a week for most of a season. When I was in Grade 8 they made us hike the Grouse Grind(a 2.9km hike straight up the mountain), it took me 2 hours and I felt as if I were about to die. To put that in perspective the fastest time recorded is 25 minutes. Most people seem to average a bit over an hour, according to my eavesdropping when I was at the top.

View from the parking lot.

Since then, I've planned to redo it, and today was finally the day. Tia and I got up and headed there for 10, and I managed to make it up with no stopping in 55 minutes. While it wasn't a walk in the park it wasn't too bad, I think right now I'm probably in the best physical shape I've ever been in. All those HIIT workouts and weightlifting are paying off in full! It's so satisfying to beat yourself, and to see how far you've come. While I was hiking it I tried to not focus on how much farther I had to go, or how much was behind me, but just to focus on one step at a time. Which I think is a great way to live your life as well. There's no point in worrying about the past, or stressing the future or how much farther you have to go on your journey. Enjoy the process, and know that if you keep going you will eventually reach the top!

The beginning of the trail.

Tired hikers at the top.

The feeling when I got to the top made me feel like I was high. Major endorphin rush, which lasted for hours afterwards! I was a bit worried about my knees since they've been giving me trouble when I run lately, but they felt great. I've never experienced a workout high as awesome as the one day, ever. I kind of felt like I could conquer the world(running up a mountain gives you that feeling, I guess). Definitely a success! I'm planning to do the Chief in Squamish next, to try to fit in as much mountain time as I can while I'm here, and I can't wait.

Tia and I after the hike!

I'm also going to try to give Stand Up Paddleboarding a try! I love trying new ways of working out, and it's nice to switch it up once in awhile. I'm lucky that I have friends who are willing to try all sorts of activities with me, workout buddies are the best. I'm normally more of a solo exerciser(no distractions!), but feeling like you've accomplished something with someone else is fun too. Do you prefer working out with a friend or alone?

The view going back down, Vancouver is too beautiful sometimes.

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