Seven Year Grind

This past Saturday (July 2) marked my 7 year wedding anniversary.

Seven years is not ten or twenty or thirty years.  Those numbers are all so big and round and significant.

Five years even seems like a significant number, but seven is just... seven.

I don't specifically recall what Steve and I did to celebrate any of our anniversaries - except our first (or was it our second?) when we packed some drinks and snacks and went topless at Wreck Beach. I was so out of shape I could barely make it up the long staircase leaving the beach - in fact I remember having to stop to catch my breath while all the nudist, pot-smoking hippies trekked on by. And afterwards we went out for dinner at the Keg and we both had the absolute worst sunburn we've ever had in our lives.

That one was reasonably memorable.

Since then we've celebrated in different ways.  Dinner. Drinks. Sometimes golf.  I honestly can't remember any specific details of any of them. I'm sure they were lovely though.

This past year, our seventh year, was our hardest.  So much happened to us and around us and within us.  There were times when I honestly didn't know if we would make it.  It was a really, really difficult time. 

Somehow we managed to persevere and pull through. 

I really wanted to do something memorable and special and symbolic to celebrate this year's anniversary.

I've never done the Grouse Grind before and I've always wanted to.  And after all the hard work I've done over the past months I felt that I was at a physical and mental level where I could pull it off. I felt like it was the perfect thing for us to do on our anniversary.

I mean how symbolic, right?  We climb a mountain, together.  Blood, sweat and tears.  The reward of working so hard to make it to the top, together.

And even though it was his buddy's 40th birthday party that very same day and all the guys were riding in a limo to a fancy golf course to play a round - he agreed to do this with me. (Perhaps somewhat reluctantly.)

Here I am at the base of the trail:
And my lovely Sherpa:
This is just around the 1/4 way mark. This is actually one of the easiest parts of the climb:
Here we are at half way!

And finally, this is us at the top!
There is a Grizzly bear habitat at the top of Grouse Mountain. We got to get fairly close to this guy (with the comfort of an electric fence between us). It was amazing to see this huge bear so close.  Steve is interested in bears and had never seen a grizzly before. I guess I haven't either.  It was a great part of the experience.
And then we sat on a patio, overlooking the world, in the sunshine. The view is literally breathtaking. We enjoyed a couple of cold beers and a slice of pizza together.  It was really amazing.

The feeling of making it the top of that mountain was like no other.  I get a pretty good "runner's high" after doing a run but this was even more than that.  There was so much more to it.  It meant so much, for so many different reasons. And the fact that we were able to do it together was such a neat bonding experience that we both really needed.  One that couldn't come from a dinner out, or beers at a pub, or a round of golf. Or even from matching sunburns from the nude beach.

(And by the way I could totally sprint up those Wreck Beach stairs now!).