Fred Hates Me

3.26.2010 | Hikes

Yesterday I went to Fred Gingell Park and for the first time, tackled the steps. There are approximately 200 steps up from the beach below. Factor in some non-staired parts, and it takes me approximately 320 steps to get from bottom to top.

Ahhhh, what a view!
But that does seem to be a loooooooooooong way down. Maybe I should rethink this plan. But wait, what’s this? One, two, three… that’s a lot of rocks! See, the way it works is, you walk down the steps to the beach, collect a rock, then hike back up the steps and place the rock on the railing to keep track of how many ‘laps’ you’ve done. Look how many this person did! Maybe this won’t be so bad after all!

And so, with my headphones on, and my iPod joyfully playing DJ Doboy techno music, I begin my first descent to the beach. This really isn’t so bad at all. I think I was getting worked up for nothing. My over-active imagination strikes again! I get down to the beach, marvel at the view, and pick up my first rock.
My friend Sal said that if I do the stairs 10 times, it’s the equivalent of doing 4km. Perfect! I started calculating in my head that I’d need to do the stairs about 25 times to have completed 10km. No problem. And now… I climb! I started off at a light run, figuring at least I should run the first time up!

At about stair 42 I began regretting the pasta I had about an hour earlier.

At stair 58 I began regretting the idea I had to climb these stairs about a day earlier.

At stair 63 I think one of lungs exploded and I was forced to stop. Maybe this isn’t going to be as easy as I thought.
Oh dear god, what have I done? I have to do this AGAIN?! Are you kidding me? There is no way I am doing this ten freakin’ times. As I pathetically keel over halfway up my first climb, I’m beginning to wonder if my 9th Grade experimental smoking habit has come back to claim my lungs once and for all. But NO! I must press on! I can DO this! GO! GO! GO!

I put my head down, and start again, taking it more slowly this time. It’s easier, but by no means easy. I get to step 120, look up and am greeted with this view:

The view it receives is this:

As you can clearly tell, near-vomiting is not a good look for me. But I keep going, keeping my head down, gripping my little rock, and just hoping I come to the top soon. I do. I rest.

I am met by another resting woman who indulges me in a conversation about cheesecake. I think I love her. But before I can try to convince her to ditch this whole climb-a-bunch-of-stairs thing and go to White Spot with me, she says, “I don’t think I can do more than 2 laps today. I’ve already ridden 35km on my bike this morning”. Oh yah? Have you? Have you really? Well, *I* made muffins. AND I even walked to Save-On to buy the ingredients. SO THERE.

I leave my new cheesecake-tease friend behind, starting down the stairs again, inspired by her commitment to fitness. I lie. I just wanted to get away from her because I was embarassed by how tired (beet red, panting, sweating like a pack mule) I was after ONE lap. Me and my bravado started running down the steps as I waved goodbye to her. Stupid ego.

So, I came to the conclusion that I will be coming back to do this again, and so why do I need to do ten laps the first time? I can set a goal for myself, and work at acheiving it. Today, I promise myself that I will do five laps. That seems fair. I also promise myself that the next time I attempt to do something for charity, I am going to work very hard at promoting the Cheesecake Chow and Nap-A-Thon for Animals. I can’t wait to start training for THAT!

Anyway, down I go, up I climb, down I go, up I climb, and lo and behold, I am soon looking at this oh-so-wonderful sight:

I DID IT! I have completed five laps of the Fred Gingell stairs! I do not know how long it took me, because I deliberately did not time myself, for fear of being overly judgemental of myself. Once I am able to do ten laps (in hiking boots, mind you), THEN I will begin timing myself and working toward a new goal.

And so, as I climb the last stairs to the park, (being met so gracefully by some guy smoking as he passes by), I marvel at how tired I am!

I had no idea it was going to be this hard. But I’m willing to come back. I’m willing to train. I’m willing to set goals for myself and acheive them after trials of hard work and dedication. And maybe by the summer, I too will be on my bike, riding from Ladner to Fred Gingell Park and then doing ten laps!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahaaa… yah, no.