Social Climber: A long walk on the beach

05 - Meg JaimeAll it took was the promise of a long walk on the beach to entice Meg to join me as a last second hiking partner on Sunday morning.

On Saturday evening I lost one of my scheduled hiking partners and then I received a text around 3am informing me that my second of two scheduled hikers was down and out.

Cue the panic as I started firing off texts at 7:30am on a Sunday morning, attempting to find someone to hike with me. Most people ignored my texts. The one person who is usually up at that time of day and ready to workout responded that she was in Cabo!

Then along came Meg. A knight in shining armour. To rescue me at the 11th hour and ensure I’d be able to get a #KiliHikeTO in this week without a hitch.

Meg and I did our MBAs together at Rotman. Few people understood our wicked sense of humor, so we often sat together in class telling each other jokes. She, a former advertiser, me the sports guy, in a school that focused mostly on cranking out finance wizards destined for Bay Street. Fast forward a year and a half and she runs a radio station and I’m a banker – sort of.

I’m pretty sure Meg was sold on joining me for a hike when she read the part of my text that said, “I can come down to The Beaches.” (Yes, I still call it Beaches, not The Beach). Who wouldn’t want to wander out in -14 with wind chill weather and stomp around up and down the boardwalk before most people are out of bed on a Sunday morning?

05 - Hiking Route

We wandered east along the beach until we passed one of Toronto’s water filtration plants before doubling back and heading inland. We crossed Queen Street and proceeded north into a ravine that led to Glen Stewart Park. The footing was hazardous on the heels of the slush storm that hit Toronto last week. Nasty stuff once it freezes.

Not long after we entered the park, we found ourselves staring upward at about 100 stairs. It didn’t take much convincing for us to start climbing to the top. For some reason I had it in my mind that there would be a great view or reward at the summit. Wrong. There was nothing except some huffing and puffing and the burn in my quads from the lactic acid. Joy.

05 - Climbing StairsAfter descending the stairs, we made it to the end of the park and found – you guessed it – another set of stairs. We did what any logical person would do – we climbed them.

Legs quivering, we made it back down the stairs, through the park, through the ravine and back to the boardwalk. This time we turned west and made our way towards Ashbridges Bay before looping back through the sand along the lake shore. Talk about cold.

It took a while for our hands and legs to thaw out when we were finished. I know I can speak for the both of us when I say that it was well worth the long walk on the beach this morning.

Speaking of long walks on the beach, I also like fine wine, travelling and I’m a Gemini.

On that note, don’t forget to sign up for a future #KiliHikeTO or you can make a donation to support the #Climb4Cord.

Make sure you mark Saturday, April 6th in your calendar. I’m collaborating with one of Toronto’s leading beer bloggers, Chris Grimley, to put together #BeerHikeTO – think pub crawl with a hiking component. All donations to participate in #BeerHikeTO will benefit the #Climb4Cord fundraising efforts.

Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read my blogs posts. I continue to receive tremendous support from family, friends and even strangers. The notes of encouragement and offers to help with the campaign have been overwhelming. And the donations have surpassed even my expectations. Thanks to your help, I have already reached 70% of my fundraising goal of $10,000.

The #Climb4Cord features a group of business leaders who will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in August 2013 with the hopes of raising $750,000 for the campaign For All Canadians, which is dedicated to building Canada’s new national public cord blood bank. Click here to donate to my personal page or for more information on the campaign please visit:

About Jaime Stein

Jaime is the Senior Manager, Social Media at Hootsuite. He is a digital marketer with expertise in social media and content marketing. His experience stems from leading the social media strategy for two national brands. Jaime holds an MBA with a focus in Marketing and Strategy from the Rotman School of Management where he was selected valedictorian by the students of the Morning MBA Class of 2011. He is the former radio voice of the Toronto Argonauts and currently lives in Vancouver with his wife and two sons.
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