The ‘non’ date

Happy Anniversary Mario!

Can you guess where we are? There’s snow at the top – IN JULY! – and Mario walked away with 51 minutes stopped on his watch.

So, I’m not normally one for anniversaries. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, especially when they involve presents, but the thing is, I never can remember dates. I can remember the moments, and the smallest of details like what I was wearing or what I ate or the exact time, but I cannot for the life of me remember the dates. Like for instance, when Mario and I first started dating, I know that it was in August, I know that it was a couple of days after my almost six-year-old nephew was born, and I know that it was like literally one hour into a new day following my last day of work at the office where we both worked at. But do you think I can remember the date? Nope.

Today’s date, however, I’m pretty sure I will always remember; self-induced torture tends to do that to you. On this date, six years ago, Mario and I climbed the Grouse Grind together for the first time. In fact, it was the first time we had ever done anything together outside of work, and it was the start of many get togethers. My dear sister-in-law teased me relentlessly that we were dating for two months before we made it official, but I was adamant that nope we were not … even though I clearly remember doing my hair and applying makeup to my face before going to meet up with Mario, where I would surely sweat all the makeup off my face, and by the end my hair would be a muddy mess, but nooo we weren’t dating 😉 Yeah, so needless to say, July 2 is known as our non-date-date anniversary!

That first climb had me silently begging for mercy, had me wondering if it would be wiser to just lob myself over the side of the mountain and wait for an air ambulance to come grab me than to finish, had me stopping every few minutes trying to regain some desperately needed oxygen. But even then I was stubborn. Every time Mario asked if we needed to slow, I’d grunt and wave my arm for him to keep going. I think it took me a whopping 1:20:00 to finish, a time I would now for sure lob myself over the mountain due to utter embarrassment. But look at me now, almost 25 minutes faster!!!


  • 9:30 a.m. BG before: 12.1
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent (2.3 hours)
  • Distance: 2.9 km, 2,830 stairs
  • Elevation gain: 853 metres
  • 11 a.m. BG after: 13.2
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent (2 hours)

I don’t know why I wear a hat every time, because every time it annoys the heck out of me – you can’t see up!

I may be faster, but it never gets easier. I learned quickly not to stop, like ever, just keep going, if I feel like I’m going to puke or pass out from lack of oxygen due to my incessant huffing and puffing, (seriously pisses me off when I’m in the fourth quarter, bent over, climbing up using both feet and hands, and there’s two guys, dressed in jeans, standing straight up, carrying on a full conversation about Mad Men – seriously, how is that possible?) just slow the pace for a little and then pick it up again. Because if I stop, I may not start up again. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, it is one hour of pure hell, but when you finally reach the top of the mountain and you look down at your clock and realize holy crap, I just did pretty freaking awesome, so worth it.

A new PR!!!

Have you ever done the Grouse Grind? What are your thoughts?

To read about my only climb last year (marathon training got in the way) click here.

7 thoughts on “The ‘non’ date”

  1. Robert Freeman

    Well, ya know … I was about to respond to your blog in my usual negative fashion … when it occurred to me that, YES!! I have done the Grouse Grind!! Many moons ago when I was young and foolish – about YOUR age, come to think of it 🙂
    But of course I have no distinct memory of this stupid feat: no recollection of painful wheezing; nor coughing up a bloody lung; no muscle cramp sending me tumbling head-first into a rock; or even what splendid vistas awaited me atop the Grouse Grind.
    Maybe memories just don’t form without a goodly supply of oxygen.
    Or I was temporarily blinded by the exertion.
    My thoughts on the Grouse Grind today?
    Just one, really: Why?

  2. Tony and I like to do the Grouse Grind after running the Scotia Half…..for fun of course! 🙂

  3. Fabulous! I’ll have to give it a try the next time I’m in Vancouver. (BTW, the second picture of you is really funny.)

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