My new challenge …

I’ve talked a lot about living atop Little Mountain, and how the park at the summit of this hill has been my saviour over the years, both mentally and physically, making me a strong, more skilled cyclist. And, I’ve talked about how since the beginning of COVID, I have been in this park almost every day either on my bike, on foot, or both. It seems my daily ritual, rain or shine, is to walk in the park. It’s the one form of exercise we can do safely.

There is a road in the park that almost goes straight up to the top. It’s short, maybe 1/2 – 3/4 km, but steep. I do hill repeats on this road. Last week I met a woman doing repeats on foot. Not running, but walking as quickly as she can to the top. It’s a good workout. She does 3 repeats 3-4 times a week. I have been walking the climb more frequently since meeting her, and today completed 3 repeats. I am not nearly as fast as she is, but I completed them more easily than I expected.

This has become my new challenge. How many repeats can I do? I don’t know, but I intend to find out.

Oh, the games we play to stay sane.

Little Mountain …

I live atop a mountain.

I first wrote about this mountain in April of 2013. Almost eight years ago. And yesterday I blogged about it again. I wrote how much a part of my life it has become since the start of COVID. I walk up and over it each, and every day. I cycle around it at the end of every ride. This mountain has been my salvation.

This mountain has made me stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually. I climb it faster and with less effort each and every year. It inspires me to photograph its wide variety of trees, plants, and resting places, particularly the memorial benches. As I said, I walk alone, but am never lonely. I return every day feeling refreshed, invigorated, and relaxed.

Yesterday, I took on a new challenge. There is one road that snakes its way up to the very top. It’s not too long, but steep. It is not my usual route to the top, but for some reason yesterday I decided to climb the mountain up this road. As I began, I was passed by an athletic young woman going in the opposite direction. A few minutes later, she motored past me effortlessly, reaching the top 5-10 minutes before me. When I was 3/4 of the way up, she passed me going down. As we passed, I said to her “impressive”. She replied, “just 2 more times”. She was doing hill repeats on foot. Not running, but walking as fast as she could.


Today, I took on the challenge. I did the climb as quickly as I could. Twice. I wasn’t as fast as that young woman, and I didn’t do as many reps. Not yet.

The more I walk the trails, and roads of this park, the more I discover. Since the beginning of COVID, when the park was closed to vehicle traffic, it became a magnet for athletes of all types – walkers, runners, cyclists, tennis players, pickle ball players … It is big enough so that it is never crowded. One early morning, when the sky is clear, I’m heading up there to watch the sunrise. I have never done that on this mountain, and yet it boasts a spectacular, unobstructed view to the east.

I bet it’s impressive.