One of the most precious things about human beings, in my opinion, is the ability to recall our past. Those events from a time long gone that may have had a hand in forming our character.
I’m going to recall one such memory but I’m going to have to give you a little context. Please bear with me. The photograph I’m using for this post was taken at the end of an experience that, in theory, was pretty incredible. In practice . . . well, you decide.
It was the late 70s, in the fall. High school years. I was part of a tight group of youths who believed they were immortal. Not really, we just didn’t think that far ahead. As you can tell from the picture, I’m the only girl/woman who participated in this adventure. So typical of me. I didn’t want to miss out on any fun, even if it meant I got dirty. Oh, and we got dirty!
This was the day of one of our big football games. And we had a plan. We were going to raise money for the United Way by climbing Bloor Street. Note to those of you who climb rocks and mountains, I apologize. We did not take your endeavours lightly. In fact, we wanted to emulate them. We were going to climb the sidewalk beside a very busy road as if it was the side of a mountain. We were all roped together and I’m pretty sure there was a pickaxe involved. Our starting point was about a half mile or a mile away from school. We were so sure of ourselves, cocky even. Our plan was to climb the street and literally climb into the half-time show at the game. We expected applause and adulation and lots and lots of money raised for United Way. We were so young.
We started out just great. Enthusiasm was high. We got down on our stomachs and hugged the sidewalk as if it was the side of a mountain. We pulled ourselves along using the cracks in the pavement, fire hydrants, telephone poles and bus shelters. We did stand to walk across the street at an intersection. We were not quite that stupid. A news truck followed us and took copious pictures. I doubt many survived.
We did pretty well for the first several blocks and then eventually we realize just how difficult it was. Plan B. We stood and walked but pulled ourselves around fire hydrants, telephone poles et cetera, et cetera. The problem was, we had spent so much time on our stomachs that we missed halftime at the game. But we were determined to finish this. I don’t actually remember if anyone was on the field when we finally got there. But we did raise money for United Way. And that picture of us? We were so damn tired, smiling hurt!