Partway through the summer of 2011 I made a decision to join my friend, Dawn, and her husband and do a triathlon. I was not sure about it but after a couple of glasses of wine I went online and signed up! The race was a “try-a-tri” which is a short version of each of the swimming, cycling and running. Basically just to try out a triathlon to see if it was something I would enjoy doing. I decided I better get my old bike out and take it for a spin. So I continued running, swimming and biking whenever I had time.
I wasn’t sure about this but I knew that it was something that I had always wanted to try. Encouragement from Dawn to sign up really helped because I am not sure if I would have gone on my own. Before I knew it the race day had come and I found myself in the St. Lawrence River waiting for the gun to go off to start the race! What the hell was I thinking? It was a cold and rainy day and I was so nervous on the drive to the race.
I finished the swimming portion and climbed out of the river out of breath and with shaky legs and arms. We had quite a way to run to our bikes and then had to get shoes on in the rain. I hopped on my bike and away I went. I am not very fast on my bike but I was determined to stay steady and finish. After the cycling portion I hit the road running and although I was tired I knew I could finish and that I wouldn’t be the last one! Doing that race was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done! It was hard at the time but afterwards it felt amazing! I did a freakin’ triathlon! Woohoo! I crossed that off the bucket list.
Later on near the end of the summer I had the opportunity to go out to Vancouver for work. It was fantastic because I got to spend some time with my dear friend Vicky. We had an absolutely amazing time together and I tried two more new things. Sea kayaking was something I had never done before and I just loved it.
The other thing we did is called the Grouse Grind. It is a 3 km trail that goes up the face of Grouse Mountain. Some refer to this as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”. It certainly was challenging and takes on average about one and a half hours to complete the hike. Beginners about two hours. Although it was pure hell I enjoyed it. I kept thinking back to the times that I couldn’t climb the stairs in my own house because of the chemo and that was more than enough encouragement to keep me going. The feeling of coming out on top of the mountain was one of the most incredible things I have ever experienced. Later as Vicky and I sat on the mountain top patio drinking beer and munching on chicken wings we watched people arriving by gondola and we looked at each other and said at the same time, “What a bunch of slackers!”
These experiences are things that make me feel so proud of myself and so thankful for my health and for my friends. Sharing these moments with dear friends just adds so much to the memories and makes the climb so incredibly rewarding.
The Climb - Miley Cyrus