Yesterday I explored Alum Rock Park (Penetencia Creek area) on my bike. It is the first time I’ve ridden in the hills since chemo. I look back and see that the first photos I shared on this blog were that of my climb up to Mount Hamilton, back on June 20 and 21st. The significance of yesterday’s bike ride was that it was the first time I have tackled hill climbing since chemo. Riding on flat terrain is a whole lot easier than riding on hills, but it is climbing of hills that gives me a good cardio and strength workout.
For a first time riding on hills, the park was a good place to start. There was very little traffic, and cars were moving slowly. I actually expected there to be more trails and a longer road. After 45 minutes I had exhausted all the paved sections. I then rode a little further on an unpaved section until that path degraded into a narrow hiking trail.
Overall, climbing felt great. I couldn’t get enough of it! It has inspired me to try to find the time before my next surgery to climb Mount Hamilton from the fire station. It should be a little easier at this time of year, as I wont be fighting the heat as much as I was back in June. My biggest issue back then wasn’t a physical limitation, more it was ensuring that I carried enough water.
This is a giant leap forward in my recovery. Climbing Mount Hamilton will represent a significant milestone in taking back my health. I attribute part of it to having signed up for the Living Strong Living Well program at the local Y run by Stanford. Through the program I’ve been doing strength training and stretching. I am amazed at how quickly I’ve progressed since the program began the first week in February (my first exercise day was my birthday). I am so glad I live someplace where a program like this is offered. I highly recommend it!