I’ve heard so many motivating stories about people conquering the Grouse Grind, over the years, that I kept saying to my self that I must give it a try. I’ve tried hiking a few times, and wasn’t a big fan of it. I don’t like hiking and I don’t like jogging. I do acknowledge though that they are probably the best exercises to get oneself into shape! Anyways, a few years ago, a bunch of us decided to get all active and stuff, so we naturally went for the best hike available locally: The Grouse Grind. We turned around at the 1/4 mark! One guy was too exhausted that when we got to the 1/4 mark said NO WAY! And so we turned. I was tired as well, but the “never quit” in me would’ve continued. However, I’m sure that secretly, we were glad someone else couldn’t keep going.
Now this year, a few people at work have committed to complete some number of Grouse Grinds for charitable organizations. So, I decided to give the Grouse Grind a serious attempt this time. I wasn’t planning in joining their crazy quests for charity, but I was going to start slowly and see how things go. I asked my colleagues, and they said they do it in 40 to 60 minutes. Now, the record is ~24 minutes. I’m not aiming for that. My objective is to get my @$$ out there and go regularly enough over the Summer, to get in shape, and to get some exercise.
So, on my first attempt, I make the first 1/4 in 15 minutes. I was like not bad, I should get all done in 60 minutes. Which was on par with some of my colleagues. Well, it took me 90 minutes to finish the remainder of the course for a total of 1 hour & 45 minutes! I took a lot of breaks. I had decided to give myself all those breaks to make myself less tired, at first. But later on, I needed them! There were others on the course suffering like me!
The following weekend I paced myself. I hiked at a slower pace, and control my breathing. I forced myself to only to take breaks at the quarter marks. It worked, and I got a better time: 1 hour & 24 minutes. At this point I had set a target for myself; to make the course in under an hour, by the end of the Summer.
Unfortunately, I failed, but not by much, and my last grind was done completely with no breaks. Admittedly I didn’t go nearly as many times as I had planned. I had hoped to do about 10 grinds over the Summer, but did only 5. No problem! I now know what it’s like. I did considerable progress compared to my first serious attempt. I’ll be back next year.