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A sense of achievement

IT doesn’t happen often, but there are rare occasions when my deepest fears don’t hold water.

My rare capacity to take any situation and mentally work it through on a worst case scenario basis was a distinct advantage for the stair climb.

Many hours have now passed since I scaled the heights of the Central Park Tower and, like so many people who’ve conquered great heights, I’m humble about our team’s achievement.

After all that panic it wasn’t that hard. Though that’s not what I remember thinking as I stumbled out the door onto the roof at about 10.40 on Saturday morning.

Oblivious to the panoramic view of Perth, I chose to focus on the deepening pain in my chest.

I can honestly say that although it was a really hard climb, it was mercifully quick.

As the teams gathered at the start line around nine o’clock on Saturday morning I was struck by the number of seriously fit-looking people.

Where were the crowds of under-prepared, anaemic looking bean counters and paper shufflers competing just for fun?

The seeds of doubt in the depth of my belly were multiplying. Even the people who claimed they’d done very little training all seemed to have sprinted the stairs a couple of times in their lunch break. By the time our team was at the start line I was truly scared I wasn’t going to make it.

It wasn’t just that I’d never attempted the stairs. I’d never even stood at the base of the tower and looked up before Saturday morning.

After jogging up the first few flights I settled into an aching trudge for the remaining 52 flights.

I can’t imagine how hard it would have been without all my early morning training sessions, but than again, at the time I struggled to imagine how my lungs and legs could feel any worse.

I was just astonished I finished after only 15 minutes, I had prepared myself for hours of grinding punishment.

And I have to admit there was an unexpected sense of achievement.

On the down side, it’s certainly getting harder to get out of bed in the morning now without the spectre of the stair climb looming in the future.

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