“It never seems that difficult…once you’ve reached your destination”.
Watching the ribbon of color circling up Giants Head Mountain we pause to catch our breath and our thoughts are awed by this incredible site and the beauty of what lay before us.
This is the Giants Head Grind a day of thoughtful celebration and achievement. An event where more than 500 people have come together climbing this former volcano, creating a kaleidoscope of memorable moments.
The event started to honor our son, Christopher Walker who challenged Colon Cancer in 2013 and has evolved into a day where many bring their stories, memories, tears and hopes to the mountain taking strength and encouragement from the collective spirit and energy of others.
The climb brings out the best of all that it touches; challenging, pushing, inspiring and humbling but ultimately offering a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Walking or running from the beach to the peak, the Grind offers up 5.6 km and a grueling 500 feet of elevation change. Like life, the climb is not an easy one and there are moments of exasperation and exhaustion where stopping seems like the best and only answer. Encouraged on by enthusiastic volunteers and of course the promise of ice cream sandwiches and other treats at the top, we push ourselves to move forward.
At last when there is little more to give… the reward; those final few steps to the very top where surrounded by breathtaking vistas, we catch our breath and enjoy the moments of laughter and comradery as we all realize that we have reached the finish line…and perhaps… it wasn’t that difficult.
Later at the Finishers BBQ there is a fullness and warmth surrounded by new friends and old, the retelling of the events of the day, the tingle of tired limbs and the simple beauty of the surroundings.
None of this changes the loss for us or others but it may make a small contribution to the success of a diagnosis and outcome for someone else in the the near future. In the meantime it keeps our loved ones close and brings meaning and hopefulness to their struggle.
This years Giants Head Grind takes place on May 21st, 2016 in Summerland, BC. Funds raised at the event are used to promote early diagnostics and testing as well as bring awareness to this serious Canadian killer. For more information or to register for this year’s event go to …www.giantsheadgrind.com