Friday at work, … you’re plugging away, counting the hours down until the day is done and more importantly until your partner gets on a plane to come home after a week away on business. And then “pop”… an email window appears out of the bottom right hand of your screen entitled “Epic EPIC fail” with the e-mail starting off with “You’re not going to believe this… I missed my ****ing flight”.
At first, I thought Matt was joking. I soon realized that it was no joke and indeed he had missed his flight due to a whack load of stuff. Trying to find flights out that evening was difficult as nothing was flying anywhere near Toronto. So this meant a few things:
- I wouldn’t see him that evening (boo)
- Unfortunately this meant Matt wouldn’t be home until Sunday (mega boo)
- I was climbing the CN Tower on my own (WTF)
I wasn’t upset about this at all though. I laughed and shook my head over it and thought to myself that Matt and I would make the best of the situation. So not only was I motivated to reach the top of the CN Tower for myself and my sponsors but I now had an extra boost for it, to show Matt that I could conquer it.
I wanted to be at registration at 5am on Saturday to avoid any line ups or problems as these events tend to have them. So I figured a good meal and early to bed would do the trick. Matt called me up that evening with a plan. He asked me to hear him out on his suggestion. So I listened…. His suggestion was that he would climb Mt. Snowdon at the same time I was climbing the CN Tower; essentially planning for both of us to “summit” at the same time. We had planned for us to do Snowdon together one day, but things happen right? I thought this was an awesome idea!!!! No hesitation on my part. I told him to go for it.
So I was up bright and early at 4am. I got myself ready and together and left Matt a voicemail and a text before I headed out as the climb I was about to do was a “hands free” climb (no phones, water, ipods, etc..). Registering for 5am was a breeze. I managed to hand in my sponsorship, check my jacket, and line up all before 5:30.. then the waiting started. I started to become nervous. I was hearing stories from other past participants, their time it took them to get to the top. Boy, did I ever feel like a novice. Such a rookie! A little after 6am, they let the barrier down and thus started the “trek” towards the tower. I felt nervous, excited, pumped, ready to do it!
A light jog down to the base of the tower and I was ready to go. As I entered the tower I was surprised to pass by my parents who made the trek down at a god awful hour to meet me at the top. Passed through security and there were two signs, one which pointed to the elevators, which I actually hesitated at. The other… to the stairs.
The stairs are nothing pretty really. One side is concrete, the other side is caged so you cant fall down. There are orange numbers on the wall in front of you marking each floor. The base of the tower that morning was cold. I started off at a great pace. I focused on the steps and made sure I wasn’t always looking up to see which floor I was on. By the 30th flight my thighs were feeling it. I was working up a sweat and all I could hear were other participants panting and the sound of sneakers squeaking on the floor. Melodic at times, other times plain annoying. I finally stopped at the 70th to catch my breath as I felt it was a little out of control. The poster on the 70th floor stated “half way there!”.. I really wanted to curse at it. So I did 🙂 and kept going.
I made my way back into the crowd and off I went. The odd time I was getting a pat on the back or words of encouragement from other climbers. What a boost it gives you! A complete stranger telling me to “keep going” or “great job” was amazing. By the 100th or so floor I was done in. I was surprised at my consistency with my pace and I felt fecked up but good enough to keep going. At one point a few of us climbers told a lady off cause she was counting the floors.. that is a sure way to take the wind out of anyone’s sails.
I could hear the volunteers cheering which meant I was close. I must have been as every time I put my hand on the banister it would slide off due to other sweat left there by my fellow climbers. I tried to be a lady but had to spit at one point. I figured I would be discreet about it. Well, I did it.. but .. funny enough it landed on my pant leg. Typical and yet so classy. I was running out of energy and fast… when I heard people yelling “push it, you’re almost there, get up here, get your time card!” By this point I was actually starting to gag, I felt sick. I basically threw myself up to the top and grabbed onto a new time card.. MY FINISH TIME! Then the volunteers said.. up the stairs to the observation deck.. You have got to be f*cking kidding me?
Another 10 or so FLIGHTS of stairs.. which I actually stopped on a few times cursing them up and down as I was so done with any types of steps. My legs were done, my feet felt like lead. It was almost like I was nailed to the floor. My body had, had enough. I wasn’t going anywhere. A security guard was at the top chuckling saying that this was it, no more steps! … I dragged myself out of the stairwell, through the sky pod exit and there I was, at the top of the CN TOWER. I had made it! And I had a camera crew filming me coming out of the door??!?! ha! My dad came through the crowd and greeted me. He gave me a huge hug and said how proud he was. I had a little emotional moment, although I am not sure whether it was due to my parents being there or due to the fact that my legs and lungs were ready to give out.
I was so pleased with myself. I did it! I had never felt so pumped! I think it really registered with me when I took the elevator down. I climbed all of this? Wow. I went back to the registration area to pick up my t-shirt, which was SO important to me. I handed the woman my time card. She calculated it and told me congratulations you completed the Tower in 20 minutes and 3 seconds. HUH? WHAAA? I almost started to tear up. Not only did I climb it, I completed it in a wicked time! I could not believe this! I got my shirt and immediately put it on. I have never felt so proud. Just before I left I bumped into some storm troopers and just had to take a photo with them 🙂
My parents treated me to a nice breakfast and then dropped me off at home. First thing I did was check my phone.. Matt had sent me a text, telling me he had made it to the top of Mt. Snowdon. We roughly made it to the top at the same time. It was an amazing feeling to know he had done it and I was proud of him. *Insert little emotional moment here* Later on in the day we managed to speak to each other. Both amazing and proud of one another for doing what we set out to do. Needless to say, I had a perma smile on for the remainder of my day. I spent my afternoon walking around the city with a friend and every so often I looked up and saw the wicked CN Tower and just sniggered to myself.. thinking “I got you good” 🙂
The experience of the climb and how we managed to turn a unfortunate event into an awesome one was.. well, awesome.
April is coming up.. the next CN Tower climb.. I will be making sure we both get to the top next go around, together. 😉