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Just Breathe… 
I’m still worried about my lungs being able to carry me through. I have all the faith in my muscles, however, pacing during my “race pace” jogs along the beach I find it hard to catch my breath. 

Am I too excited? Am I getting ahead of myself? When is it time to jump in with both feet and when is it time to let go? 

Reminds me of a quote by Henry Ellis, “All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” 

Step by Step
In the past few weeks I’ve been trying to focus on inclines and making sure I build a base, my biggest fear is that I will burn out mid-race. I decided the best way to really put this to a real test would be to do the Grouse Grind. I decided to make this a bonding experience and took my baby sister with me, a Victoria native and first time climber. I compared the climb to Croagh Patrick in Mayo Ireland, a mountain that we had climbed together the previous summer and she was confident this would be a “cake walk.” We started the trail in our new Columbia Sportswear! I was focusing on breathing into my belly like my triathlon trainer had always taught me.
Jodi Eckland, stretching at the top of the Grouse Grind
A Quarter, Only a quarter? 
When we reached the first quarter marker, my sister turned to me with a look like I wouldn’t make it home from this little adventure I dragged her on. I reminded her to breathe and to take smaller steps weaving from one side of the path to the other. It may be a jedi-mind-trick but it is the only way I climb the grind with speed and without pain or stopping. Around the time we reached the halfway marker it would be just our luck (or lack of) that the weather shifted a little colder. Then it began to rain. The hail came soon after, pelting us in the face with each step closer to the summit. 

Under 60!
Feeling strong I forced myself to pull away from my sister, keeping my time in mind I pushed to the end. Once I reached the snowy top I felt like I could keep going. Now, I’m not entirely sure I could jump into a sprint for the last leg of the race to reach the peak and finish line. Seeing my sister and the look on her face, through the sweat and the rain and the hail and the difficulty of her first completed Famous Grouse Grind… she hugged me, she kissed my cheek and just when I thought she would swear at me for taking her on this quest, she swore she would conquer it by the end of summer.

Thanks again for reading about my journey to Seek the Peak.

If you're looking to conquer a quest of your own, and would like to do so in the name of fighting breast cancer, register now for Seek the Peak.

— Jodi (Find me, @jodiecks on Twitter)

Announcements

Please be aware, Altitudes Bistro is undergoing renovation. Lunch service with the Altitudes menu will be available in The Observatory beginning at 11am. Grouse Grind Coffee Bar is open 7:00am-10:00pm serving Grill Board menu items. The Observatory will be open 5:00pm - 10:00pm.