One of the main reasons I wanted to come to UBC was for the skiing opportunities, and the first club I joined upon arrival was the alpine ski team. In semester 1, the team don’t do any competitions (due to the lack of snow), but still plan “dryland” team training so that new recruits can get to know existing members of the team. What better bonding experience than to moan about exercise twice a week?
Every Sunday, the team has a gym session at a place on campus called the Birdcoop. We had circuits planned out for us, and laughed at the colour of each other’s faces at the end. Every Wednesday, the team do something called “stairs”, which is exactly what it sounds like… At the beginning of the semester, when the weather was milder, the team gathers at the top of the stairs leading down to Tower Beach; one of the “clothing optional” beaches on the UBC campus. There are 393 steps leading down, which of course means that there are 393 stairs to run back up! Our task was to do this at least 3 times.
It was actually much better than it sounds, because although we were totally knackered afterwards, the view at the beach made it worth the run. It was also easy to see the progress we made each week, by seeing how far we could get up the stairs without stopping. By the last week of our outdoor stairs training I was pleased to be able to make it up all the way up each time without stopping – something that I think is a pretty good achievement.