Paying Tribute to a Client Who Loved the Grind
Today I competed in my third BMO Grouse Grind Mountain Run© in honour of a Lifemoves© client, Barbara who passed away this year. Barb exemplified Lifemoves©’ philosophy of keeping active despite a medical condition or disability. She overcame many mountains during her life after suffering a brain aneurism of 20 years ago that made being active very challenging for her. She had difficulty with balance and climbing stairs. During the last several years of her life she discovered the Grouse Grind, something she enjoyed doing every summer. After each climb she collected her tram tickets down and recorded her time on the back of the papers; in the end it was 118 times.
Every year she participated in the annual timed run up Grouse. I started participating when I found out that 2009’s race was going to be her 100th time. It was a great honour to participate with a woman who had such tremendous courage, determination and humour. She started training with me in 2008 one of her goals was to finish the Grind in less than one hour, which she came close to. Barb’s mother, Mavis gave her a great deal of support and love, which included showing up as her cheering squad for the BMO GGMR.
Today, Mavis was at the start and finish to reminisce and say goodbye to her daughter. She shared one tid-bit about Barb, which I didn’t know – she completed her first Grind by almost crawling up it. When I went up with her she had her challenges, but she was able to walk up the whole way. Mavis thanked me for encouraging her to stay active and do what she could to keep moving and let me know that Barb looked forward to our training sessions.
Barb continued to live independently until she was 58 years old when she passed away. We met at the start-line in 2010 and I waited for her at the top, but didn’t see her. When I called her on Monday she told me that she just felt unwell and that the noise and crowds were too much. However, she proudly told me that she completed the Grind on her own the following day.
I always looked forward to our sessions and conversing with her even outside of the gym. Her death came as a shock to me and I will continue to miss her greatly. She was an inspiration to me and was in my thoughts during this year’s race. This year I will complete my 100th overall Grouse Grind by the end of the season as my tribute to Barb.
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