89 Storeys in 5 Paragraphs

A few weeks ago I was asked to be an ambassador for this years “Eureka Climb” An event that supports 2 amazing charities, Whitelion and Interplast. The Eureka tower is a massive 297 metres high, 89 storeys and 1622 steps in total. Each year thousands of participants take the challenge and get behind this worthwhile initiative.

Initially I was a little apprehensive as I hadn’t done any type of stair training and it was less than 2 weeks till the launch day (which the ambassadors would climb at) for corporate partners and sponsors. I’m a massive believer in simply “having a go” so I agreed and made a promise to myself that unless I was physically unable to go on, i.e: I had a leg issue or the like… that I would give it my absolute best shot.

The event launch day arrived and we all gathered around the bottom in preparation for the climb, it was wonderful to meet some of the fellow ambassadors including professional tower climber Mark Bourne and Tristan Miller, an inspirational guy, who in 2010 completed an incredible 52 marathons in 52 weeks!

Off we went, of course I let Mark go before me as I didn’t want to upset him by beating him to the top! As the crew slowly disappeared up the stairwell, I began my ascent. I started with 10 floors without a break, then stopped to catch my breath. It was hard to breathe in the confined stairwell but after a minute or so, I was ready to roll again. I thought I’d bang out another 10 storeys, however this time I only managed 7. 17 down, only 72 to go – easy right? I started to get into the groove of things and slowly but surely I was making progress. The halfway point!! Level 45! By this stage I felt very alone. The chatter and panting of the other climbers in front had long disappeared. I wondered, were they finished? How long had I been going? I continued, sweating, heaving. My legs were burning but the pain was manageable and I embraced it. The thought of giving up never entered my mind, even if I was there all day I was going to finish. Finally, two more flights to go, then just one. The final few steps were the best and possibly the easiest of all – I’d made it! Last place by a mile but the feeling of completing it was more than enough. Stoked!

There were times during the climb where it would have been easier to say “well, at least I got half way” and jump in the lift, but that mentality is defeatist and doesn’t serve us well. Finding ways to push on as opposed to looking for an out will give us the greatest sense of achievement. Taking that easy option, avoiding a little pain or discomfort may be appealing in the immediate sense, but how beneficial will it be long term? How will it serve us when we are faced with tough moments or decisions in the future?