Posts Tagged ‘Fred Gingell’

Posts Tagged ‘Fred Gingell’

To The Roof of Africa!

8.12.2010 | 3 Comments

On January 1st, 2010 I started my journey with this blog entry:

I am going to climb a mountain. Well, I’m going to walk up one, anyway.

I haven’t done anything like this before. In fact, I can probably count the number of times I’ve gone hiking, and I know I haven’t been camping more than half a dozen times. Don’t get me wrong, I know what I’m getting into. I’ve watched videos about climbing this mountain. I’ve submitted questions about the climbing of this mountain to semi-popular websites. I have bought (although not yet read) books about this mountain. I feel about as prepared as someone who listens to a song on the radio and then starts hiring roadies to prepare for a world tour.

In August of 2010, I am going to fly to Tanzania, Africa and climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a way to raise money for the Delta Hospice. The Hospice holds a very special place in my heart, and it is my absolute honour to take on this journey to fund raise on their behalf. But this will be no simple journey. Oh no, this will be a flat-out epic.

Aside from the parent-induced membership in Brownies and Girl Guides, I have managed to avoid the outdoors quite sufficiently for about 30 years. I am the anti-camper. I do not like being cold. The sound of rain drops falling on a tent is nearly trauma-inducing. I would rather be in prison than a sleeping bag. (Some of you more astute readers may be able to pick up the subtle hints I am dropping in regards to my views on outdoor life). To climb Mount Kilimanjaro means that I will need to… oh, man… camp for 10 days.

And so, purely for your entertainment, I am going to allow you into my world as I train for this adventure. For the next seven months, I will allow parts of my life to become an open book, and permit you to laugh, cry and shake your head in total disbelief as I attempt to turn myself from Robyn the Indoor Princess, into Robyn the Sobbing Mess of Outdoorsy Semi-Competence.

And so it begins…

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!

And today, on August 12th, 2010, I am boarding that flight to Tanzania, Africa knowing that $10,000 $11, 850 has been raised (so far!) for the Delta Hospice Society.

I hiked once, twice, three times and four, five times, six times, and seven

I trained

I attempted to camp

I ate, ate, ate, and ate, and ate, ate, and happily ate, and ate, and ate, shamefully ate, ate, ate and attempted to explain sarcasm, ate, and ate, and ate, and tried to avoid eating, and thought about what to eat, and ate.

I fundraised, and had help with fundraising

I was sponsored and sponsored again

I was humbled

I remembered.

This has been an incredible journey on the way to having an incredible journey. I learned a lot about myself in these past eight months, and I learned a great deal about the power of human nature and the strength of community kindness. This whole experience has left me awed. And I am grateful for it. Thank you for letting me share it all with you. This became such a personal blog, and I’ve met some very wonderful people because of it.

And so today, I leave this blog in the capable hands of Chris, who will update it as often as he hears from me. I’m not sure how or when I’ll be able to make contact, but please know that it’s a priority for me to be able to keep you posted.

I want to thank you all so very, very much for following me and for reading this blog. It means more to me than I could ever express to know that I’m carrying your support and kindness in my heart as I scale that mountain.

And guess what?

I’m crying.

And so it begins…

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!



Mujer e Escalon!

3.26.2010 | 0 Comments

Alright Gingell – it’s you and me again on Sunday. Mano e stair-o. (errr… mujer e escalon?)

But this time… I’m bringing reinforcements.

Oh, we are ON, dude! Yah, that’s right, you heard me. You’re goin’ down, my friend.

Welcome to Humiliationville, Gingell. Population: YOU.




Fred Hates Me

3.26.2010 | 0 Comments

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.



3.06.2010 | 0 Comments

Today I tackle… The Fred Gingell Park stairs…

Wish me luck. Buy me Tiger Balm.