On April 21st, 2012 I made my second climb up the steps of the CN Tower. My first climb had come amid a time in my life when I was embarking on multi-week bicycling trips and eating pretty healthy. This time I was trekking up the tower with quite a few extra pounds in my hip pockets after letting myself go for a few years, making each of the 1776 steps to the top feel significantly tougher than the last time, each flight more laborious and each stair that much harder to climb.
Even still I kept at it as best I could. I walked all the way up save for the first two or three flights, which I ran with fresh pluck and youthful aplomb before my wind was pretty much exhausted and my lungs set afire by stair number thirty-five. About two-thirds of the way up I stopped to rest at a couple of landings but overall I just kept plugging away at it until I reached the top tired, sweating profusely, and too winded to drink the bottle of water that was handed to me.
I registered my worst-ever time: 30:47.
I found a spot of floor and sat down for a rest. Soon enough I felt good enough to walk around the observation deck of my favourite building on the planet and enjoy the extensive view offered by the clear, sunny morning. Before I knew it I was feeling downright fantastic; I grabbed that bottle of water and stared out over Lake Ontario feeling like King Of The World.
Before catching the elevator back down (oh, how I would like to take the stairs down the tower for once) I went to the top of the stairs and watched one physically spent tower climber after another come through the door looking weary, drained and victorious.
I remember your struggle, oh young grasshoppers, and have felt what you now feel.
Downstairs (so to speak) I turned over my timecard and received my plush toy of a panda and movie pass for two, my rewards for hitting the $200 donation threshold for the World Wildlife Fund. Truth is I’d climb the CN Tower to raise money for anything or nothing at all but it’s icing on the cake to do something you enjoy for charity.
My thanks to any and all who sponsored me. Together I’m sure we saved a whale.