Why I Climb for WWF: Checking Off My Toronto Bucket List

We spoke with climber Trish to find out why she’s supporting WWF at the 24th Annual Canada Life CN Tower Climb.
So this is the first time you’ll be climbing the CN Tower?
This is my very first CN Tower Climb. I have heard about the Climb for the last few years, ever since I moved to Toronto, but I never looked into doing it until this year when a team of Steam Whistle staff decided to do it together.  It’s something unique to Toronto that I knew I wanted to try… kind of like checking off doing the Grouse Grind if you’re in Vancouver.  I was also happy to learn that people climb to raise money for WWF, which I knew as a highly respected not-for-profit organization that does many great things in Canada.

Trish with an adopted polar bear
Trish with an adopted polar bear and her cane © Trish

You hurt your leg a few months ago (and are doing much better now) but you were determined to climb…
Having lived in Toronto for just under a decade, I was very excited to finally have the opportunity to sign up for the CN Tower Climb – something that was on my Toronto bucket list.  Having a team of colleagues united and motivated to fundraise and achieve personal climb records further increased my excitement.  Unfortunately, life threw a speed bump into my plans when I slipped on ice and fractured my leg at the end of February.  It was my first broken bone, and the first time I felt how quickly and easily I could lose my independence, mobility, and health.  However, one of my first thoughts and a question I asked all my doctors was, “Would I be well enough to do the Climb on May 1st?”
Trish's aircast
Trish’s aircast © Trish

Everyone warned me that fractures took a while to heal, and even after the bones had knitted back together, I would have to undergo physiotherapy to relearn how to walk, use my feet and leg muscles, and for the pain and swelling to go away.  None of them thought it was likely that I would be well enough to do the Climb, but I persisted and hoped.  It gave me a goal to focus on, and motivated me to take care of myself and do my exercises. Friends and family kept cheering me on and donating to my Climb page despite my fracture.  I guess this determination and support paid off in the end, and I was super thrilled when my physiotherapist gave me the thumbs up to do the Climb.  I’ve already booked a physio appointment for the day after the Climb, because I know I’ll need it, but I guess the silver lining is that I know I will crush whatever time I get this year when I do the Climb again.
We’re excited to have you and glad the doctor gave you the green light! Can you tell us a bit about why you’re supporting and fundraising for WWF?
I grew up in Vancouver and became familiar with WWF there.  I knew the organization worked on protecting wildlife and their habitats, and as a child, I thought what WWF did made a lot of sense.  As I grew up, I became increasingly aware of all the research, studies, and news articles that showed how we were failing to protect our resources and our futures.  As a self-proclaimed pragmatic idealist, I knew that I wanted to be involved with the sustainability movement, but in a practical and feasible way.  I was lucky enough to find a workplace, Steam Whistle, that not only listens to its staff, but encouraged and empowered us to take action and help guide the company’s environmental stewardship.  This year, our internal Environmental Committee rallied together for the climb.  The CN Tower Climb for WWF was an easy choice given WWF’s good work, and our proximity to the tower itself.  Hopefully, this will become an annual event for us!