A group of Ryerson athletes will put their endurance to the test Saturday at Toronto’s most vertical venue. Fourteen students and six staff members will take part in the CN Tower Stair Climb, an annual fundraiser for United Way that requires participants to hike up 1,776 steps to the top of the tower.
Emily Nicholishen, a fifth-year biology student and women’s volleyball team member, did the climb last year and made it up the tower in 20 minutes. This year, she hopes to establish a new personal best.
“It’s for a good cause, and at the same time I get to test myself physically, which is something I enjoy as well,” she said.
To prepare, she spends her spare time running up and down flights of stairs in the Ryerson hockey arena at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC). “I learned that to make the climb, you really have to pace yourself.”
Last year, she found the company of her teammates helpful. It was a group effort, she says, with everyone encouraging each other. This year, she won’t have the team climbing with her, but that hasn’t lowered her expectations.
“I get excited,” she said. “I think of that narrow staircase and I really want to beat my time.”
Lynne Rozario-Adam, a sales manager for the MAC and the Ryerson Rams, is one of the staff members taking part in the climb. This is not her first stair climb for United Way, but it is her first time walking up the CN Tower — a task that she finds a little daunting.
“A smarter person would be doing a lot of stairs, the stair-climber at the gym, (to) get those cardio and oxygen intake levels up,” she said about her preparation. She added that when she thinks about the actual climb, there are three things that go through her mind: breathe, drink water and do not look down. “I just hope I don’t pass out.”
Despite the monumental task ahead of her, it’s an event Rozario-Adam feels compelled to join.
“I think it is important to support community charities like the United Way who give so much back to those around us locally,” she said. Student participants are required to raise a minimum $75 donation for the cause.
“Also, supporting the Ryerson Rams in their efforts to do good is important,” said Rozario-Adam. “I love to challenge myself — this isn’t something you can do every day.”
This article was published in the print edition of the Ryersonian on Nov. 4, 2015.