The best cure for built up emotions and unresolved questions that are floating inside your head is to WORK OUT!
One of the best workouts I ever accomplished is hiking the steep and muddy trails of the Grouse Grind.
The Grouse Grind is a 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain, commonly referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”, and a very challenging hike.
And a stairmaster it is! Before my first “Grind” I was actively running 5-8k a few times a week, but climbing the 2,830 stairs (over roots and rocks) with an elevation gain of 853 metres (2,800 feet) is sure a total different challenge!
I love going in the early morning hours, when the air is crisp and the world around me just seems to peacefully come to life, while I’m cruising with my scooter through the empty streets of downtown Vancouver.
I drive over the Lionsgate Bridge and enter North Vancouver. Passing empty roads and landscapes that gloom with trees and plants, revealing more and more nature the higher of an altitude I reach, I feel somehow in control over my life and happiness, I feel at peace.
Once I arrive the base of Grouse Mountain, 274 metres (900 ft) above sea level, I park my scooter, walk up to the gate and start stretching. Which is super important. You don’t wanna go halfway up and tear something. The muscle ache after every workout is strong enough as it is
Then I pass the gate, enter the path, activate my timer, and start my iPod.
The path is beautiful. You feel you’re just hiking a little trail through woods and nature. The silence is breath taking and your mind feels zen after the first minute. Also after the first minute your heartbeat spikes and races stronger than you think possible. Don’t fight it! I used to, underestimating the gravity of the workout, but you want your pulse up and your breath going strong in order to prepare your body, blood flow and oxygen needs for the heavy workout it is going to perform.
The Grind has signs marking each quarter of the path. When you see the 1/4 mark you’ll feel equally excited and scared – THIS was only ONE quarter of the way??? Whatever, you think, I got this!
The 1/2 sign always marks the ‘point of no return’. Technically, it is not allowed to go down the steps, only up. But inside your brain there’s this ambition, if you made it this far you may as well go another half up instead of down and giving up.
And giving up is kind of what you may feel at this point.
The steps are getting steeper, the amount of roots to climb on or rocks increases, sometimes you have to slow down because the hot flash of pain that’s going through your leg muscles seems unbearable. You want to rest, but for me personally the best trick is to NOT stop moving. Once I rest the urge to rest more increases, so instead of stopping I take slower and less high steps to keep my pulse up and my blood flowing.
At the 3/4 mark my excitement and energy peaks!! I made it this far, and I will conquer the rest so god help me!!!
At this point I feel like I’m overcoming each and every of my inner boundaries. My mind floats out of my aching body as I see the goal in front of my eyes. Pain doesn’t exist, just endorphins, pride and energy. I feel the air getting warmer, the trees around me opening up and giving away a breath-taking view of pieces of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park, and other far far away places.
I feel elevated, both physically and mentally! My feet fly up the dirty & moist rocks, slipping and sliding, finding ground while my hands are trying to balance my body. Quicker than expected the sky opens up above my head and I’m passing the last big rock until I see the cabin – I arrived at the Peak of the Grouse Grind!
Which is the BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD!
The coffee I’m treating myself to at 7am in the morning tastes 100 times better, while gazing exhausted but ecstatically at the stunning landscape from the outside patio.
My thoughts have cleared and life is perfect at this moment!
Cloe’s Top Ten songs <3
[mp3-jplayer width=”100%” tracks=”Welcome to the Jungle (Guns’N’Roses)@GunsNRoses-Welcome-To-The-Jungle.mp3, Hands and Faces (The Used)@The-Used-Hands-And-Faces.mp3, Stella (All Time Low)@All-Time-Low-Stella.mp3, Life Was Fair (Only Crime)@Only-Crime-Life-Was-Fair.mp3, The Greatest Con (Incura)@Incura-The-Greatest-Con.mp3, God gave Rock’n’Roll to You (KISS)@Kiss-God-Gave-Rock-And-Roll-To-You.mp3, All My Life (Foo Fighters)@Foo-Fighters-All-My-Life.mp3 , A Man Alone (Finch)@Finch-A-Man-Alone.mp3, Hot Blooded Man (Bend Sinister)@Bend-Sinister-Hot-Blooded-Man.mp3, Give It All (Rise Against)@Rise-Against-Give-It-All.mp3″]
A big THANK YOU for the musical and mental inspiration goes to Sarah L, Kyle Incura, Matt Rhode, Brooklyn Chase, Russ R, Bert McCracken & Blake, Bryce, Jordan and Jericho <3