So folks, yesterday was the big CN Tower Climb for WWF-Canada. If you’ll recall, I had two goals. The first – raise $1 for each of the 1776 stairs that I needed to climb to reach the top of the tower. The second – try to climb the tower in under 19 minutes, thus beating my first climb (which lasted 19 minutes 26 seconds).
Before I get into the details and results of the climb, let me note that I made a rather huge error in my previous post about the climb. That is, on Wednesday I posted that the climb consisted of 114 floors. Ya, slight miscalculation on my part. That would suggest that each flight of stairs had 15 to 16 steps. In reality, the climb consisted of 144 floors, which translates to about 12 steps per flight. Thankfully, I was too focused on the climb to really notice the floor numbers – at least not until around the 95th floor when I overheard someone say that we were two-thirds of the way there. A little mathematics on the fly indicated that the initial hypothesis of 114 floors was clearly a mistake.
So how did it go? Well let’s start with the first goal. Thanks to you, I managed to raise $1,946.46 That works out to be approximately $1.10 per stair or $0.10 more per stair than I had hoped to raise. AWESOME. I really can’t thank you all enough. As an added bonus, apparently I satisfied some sort of sponsorship threshold and I was given a gift certificate to Mountain Equipment Co-op as thanks. That, in addition to the standard I climbed the CN Tower for WWF-Canada t-shirt, and a ticket to the Green Living Show that takes place this weekend at the Direct Energy Centre. I might venture down to that this weekend just for fun.
But really, raising money was the easy thing to do. I mean, it amounted to sending an email or two and then all y’all did the rest. Perhaps I did have to put in some extra effort to send out reminders and the like, but really – easy peasy lemon squeezy. The challenge was in the climb. And if you remember, goal number two was to break my previous time of 19 minutes 26 seconds. To do that, I’d have to climb at a rate of about 0.64 seconds per stair. Crazy stuff.
Bound and determined to break my old time, I decided to two-step it as far as I could, put my head down, continue to breathe, and use my arms to pull myself up the tower as much as I was climbing it with my legs. Oh, and think about math so as to not think about the burning in my legs and lungs. The only problem is that I hadn’t considered the other people. I knew there would be a lot of people climbing, but I forgot that people aren’t always aware of their surroundings. That is, a lot of people failed to understand that ‘walkers’ stay to the right, ‘runners’ stay to the left. This way, those of us that were climbing with a set time in mind wouldn’t be slowed by a casual climber who was occupying the left side of the stair well. Sadly, this happened often. I’m pretty sure that my time was affected by it, because there were so many cases of this type of interference. Gah!
Anyway, I found myself saying ‘excuse me’ a lot, or w00ting in order to let people know that I was coming up behind them and they should get out-of-the-way. It worked in many cases, but not all. Especially in the case of the 6-slow-people-in-a-row. Gah. Seriously? I was not amused. Thankfully, this was at a point where I knew which floor I was on, and thus gave me ample opportunity to calculate how many stairs I’d travelled, and how many more I had to go. I told you I was going to do math when I climbed 🙂 It’s so soothing in its logic and number-y goodness.
But fear not, dear reader. While the ‘walkers’ definitely slowed me down (perhaps by as much as a minute), I successfully finished the climb in a very respectable time – as indicated on the back of my I climbed the CN Tower for WWF-Canada t-shirt:
That’s right – I smashed my old time with a new and improved extra shine-y time of 16 minutes 15 seconds. And I did it by two-stepping almost every single one of the 144 floors. Even I am having a hard time believing it. I’m also having a hard time wiping the grin off my face. I’m so freaking stoked it’s awesome. My new and improved extra shine-y time works out to be about 0.55 seconds per stair. I’m thinking I could shave some more time off of it if only I could do the climb without slow pokes in front of me. Perhaps next year’s challenge.
The extra bonus is that I can now cross off item #82 from my Not-So-Bucket-List. w00t! I may also consider crossing off item #28 – to raise over $1000 for the Big Brothers & Big Sisters Bowlathon. I’m thinking that I was being a bit too narrow-minded by specifying the charity. I’ll have to think about this some more before I make a decision. On one hand, it might be a cop-out, but on the other, did you notice that 82 and 28 are mirror images? I mean, if that isn’t a sign that these things are related, I don’t know what is. And who am I to ignore such an obvious sign from the gods-o-math? What do you think, dear reader?
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